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Endowment Versus Finance: A Wooden Barrel Theory of International Trade

  • Ju, Jiandong
  • Wei, Shang-Jin

This paper develops a theory of international trade in which financial development and factor endowment jointly determine comparative advantage. We apply the financial contract model of Holmstrom and Tirole to the Heckscher-Ohlin-Samuelson (HOS) framework. A key result is what we call the law of a wooden barrel: if the external finance constraint is binding, then augmenting capital stock would have no effect on output and returns. On the other hand, if the external finance constraint is not binding, the standard HOS predictions are resuscitated.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5109.

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Date of creation: Jun 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5109
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  1. Marin, Dalia & Verdier, Thierry, 2002. "Power Inside the Firm and the Market: a General Equilibrium Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 3526, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 2002. "The factor content of trade," Discussion Papers 0102-01, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
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  10. Marin, Dalia & Verdier, Thierry, 2004. "Globalization and the Empowerment of Talent," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 1, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
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  12. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1998. "Law and Finance," Scholarly Articles 3451310, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  31. Trefler, Daniel, 1995. "The Case of the Missing Trade and Other Mysteries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1029-46, December.
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