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Contract Enforcement, Comparative Advantage and Long-Run Growth

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  • Ottaviano, Gianmarco

Abstract

The effects of the quality of institutions on economic development and comparative advantage have been so far investigated separately. This paper proposes a theoretical framework in which trade patterns and growth rates are jointly determined by international differences in contract enforcement that affect firms' organizational decisions. In a two-country dynamic Ricardian model with endogenous innovation and hold-up problems, the value chain consists of two activities, innovation and production. Entry in the market happens through R&D and entrants face two decisions. The 'location decision' determines where to place R&D laboratories and production plants. Through the 'ownership decision' firms choose whether to perform innovation and production within the same vertically integrated structure or not. In this framework, the quality of contract enforcement drives the ownership decision, which affects R&D returns, research intensity and growth. Balance of payments adjustments cause movements in relative wages, which affect the location decision and, therefore, the pattern of sectoral specialization and international trade.

Suggested Citation

  • Ottaviano, Gianmarco, 2007. "Contract Enforcement, Comparative Advantage and Long-Run Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 6419, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6419
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294.
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    12. Alireza Naghavi & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2010. "Outsourcing, complementary innovations, and growth," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(4), pages 1009-1035, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alireza Naghavi & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2010. "Outsourcing, complementary innovations, and growth," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(4), pages 1009-1035, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    economic growth; incomplete contracts; innovation; theory of the firm;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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