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Trade liberalization and credit constraints: Why opening up may fail to promote convergence

  • Peters, Katrin
  • Schnitzer, Monika

Recent evidence suggests that despite opening up a country for trade, the productivity gap between developed and emerging economies often does not close. This paper examines credit constraints as one channel held responsible for hampering convergence. Specifically, we extend a Melitz and Ottaviano (2008) type trade model with variable mark-ups to allow for endogenous technology adoption. We consider a framework with two countries that potentially differ with respect to credit market development. Firms have the option to adopt a more efficient technology by paying some fixed cost. A fraction of the fixed technology adoption cost has to be financed externally: in a less developed credit market, the costs of external finance and thus the total costs of technology adoption are higher. A reduction in trade costs raises demand abroad (pro technology-adoption effect) but reduces demand at home because of import competition (anti technology-adoption effect). We find that trade liberalization increases economic performance, that is average productivity and technology adoption, in both countries but that the productivity gap widens. Simulations show that the welfare gap widens too. Opening up without sufficient access to external funding thus fails to promote convergence.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8942.

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Date of creation: Apr 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8942
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  1. DEL GATTO, Massimo & MION, Giordano & OTTAVIANO, Gianmarco I.P., 2006. "Trade integration, firm selection and the costs of non-Europe," CORE Discussion Papers 2006061, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, . "Financial Dependence and Growth," CRSP working papers 344, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  3. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2003. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1268-1290, September.
  4. Vassilis Hajivassiliou & Frédérique Savignac, 2007. "Financing constraints and a firm's decision and ability to innovate: establishing direct and reverse effects," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4774, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Schnitzer, Monika, 2010. "Financial constraints and innovation: Why poor countries don't catchup," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 341, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  6. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Bernard, Andrew B. & Bradford Jensen, J., 1999. "Exceptional exporter performance: cause, effect, or both?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-25, February.
  8. Gianmarco Ottaviano & Takatoshi Tabuchi & Jacques-FranÁois Thisse, 2002. "Agglomeration and Trade Revisited," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(2), pages 409-436, May.
  9. Andrew Atkeson & Ariel Burstein, 2007. "Innovation, firm dynamics, and international trade," NBER Working Papers 13326, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Dani Rodrik, 2008. "Goodbye Washington Consensus, Hello Washington Confusion? A Review of the World Banks Economic Growth in the 1990s: Learning from a Decade of Reform," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 55(2), pages 135-156, June.
  11. Giammario Impullitti & Omar Licandro, 2010. "Trade, Firm selection, and innovation: the competition channel," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 841.10, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  12. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2005. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Development Working Papers 201, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
  13. Ross Levine, 2004. "Finance and Growth: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 10766, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Antonio Navas-Ruiz & Davide Sala, 2007. "Technology Adoption and the Selection Effect of Trade," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/58, European University Institute.
  15. repec:idb:brikps:59478 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Alfonso Irarrazabal & Andreas Moxnes & Luca David Opromolla, 2015. "The Tip of the Iceberg: A Quantitative Framework for Estimating Trade Costs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 97(4), pages 777-792, October.
  17. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Daria Taglioni & Filippo di Mauro, 2009. "The euro and the competitiveness of European firms," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 24, pages 5-53, 01.
  18. Paula Bustos, 2009. "Trade liberalization, exports and technology upgrading: Evidence on the impact of MERCOSUR on Argentinean firms," Economics Working Papers 1173, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  19. Buch, Claudia M. & Kesternich, Iris & Lipponer, Alexander & Schnitzer, Monika, 2009. "Financial Constraints and the Margins of FDI," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 272, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  20. Hall, Bronwyn H. & Lerner, Josh, 2010. "The Financing of R&D and Innovation," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.
  21. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity (DOI:10.111/j.1467-937x.2007.00463.x)," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 985-985.
  22. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
  23. repec:idb:idbbks:59478 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Kalina Manova, 2008. "Credit Constraints, Heterogeneous Firms, and International Trade," NBER Working Papers 14531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. BEHRENS, Kristian & OTTAVIANO, Gianmarco I. P. & MION, Giordano, 2007. "Industry reallocations in a globalizing economy," CORE Discussion Papers 2007012, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  26. Bulent Unel, . "The Interaction Between Technology Adoption and Trade When Firms are Heterogeneous," Departmental Working Papers 2010-03, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
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