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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. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 295-316.
  2. Bulent Unel, 2013. "The Interaction Between Technology Adoption and Trade When Firms are Heterogeneous," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(4), pages 797-808, 09.
  3. Kalina Manova, 2013. "Credit Constraints, Heterogeneous Firms, and International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(2), pages 711-744.
  4. Bernard, A., 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," Working papers 97-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Schnitzer, Monika, 2013. "Financial constraints and innovation: Why poor countries don't catch up," Munich Reprints in Economics 20443, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  6. Buch, Claudia M. & Kesternich, Iris & Lipponer, Alexander & Schnitzer, Monika, 2009. "Financial Constraints and the Margins of FDI," CEPR Discussion Papers 7444, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Giammario Impullitti & Omar Licandro, 2013. "Trade, firm selection, and innovation: the competition channel," Discussion Papers 13/04, University of Nottingham, School of Economics.
  8. Hajivassiliou, V. & Savignac, F., 2008. "Financing Constraints and a Firm's Decision and Ability to Innovate: Establishing Direct and Reverse Effects," Working papers 202, Banque de France.
  9. 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.
  10. OTTAVIANO, Gianmarco & THISSE, Jacques-François, 1999. "Agglomeration and trade revisited," CORE Discussion Papers 1999041, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  11. Alfonso A. Irarrazabal & Andreas Moxnes & Luca David Opromolla, 2011. "The Tip of the Iceberg: A Quantitative Framework for Estimating Trade Costs," Working Papers w201125, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  12. 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.
  13. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 105, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  14. Ross Levine, 2004. "Finance and Growth: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 10766, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Dani Rodrik, 2006. "Goodbye Washington Consensus, Hello Washington Confusion? A Review of the World Bank's Economic Growth in the 1990s: Learning from a Decade of Reform," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 44(4), pages 973-987, December.
  16. Massimo Del Gatto & Giordano Mion & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2006. "Trade Integration, Firm Selection and the Costs of Non-Europe," Development Working Papers 218, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
  17. 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.
  18. William Maloney & Daniel Lederman & Luis Servén, 2005. "Lessons from NAFTA: For Latin America and the Caribbean," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 59478, January.
  19. Antonio Navas-Ruiz & Davide Sala, 2007. "Technology Adoption and the Selection Effect of Trade," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/58, European University Institute.
  20. Hall, Bronwyn H. & Lerner, Josh, 2010. "The Financing of R&D and Innovation," MERIT Working Papers 012, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  21. Andrew Atkeson & Ariel Burstein, 2010. "Innovation, firm dynamics, and international trade," Staff Report 444, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  22. Giordano Mion & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Kristian Behrens, 2008. "Industry reallocations in a globalizing economy," ECONOMIA E POLITICA INDUSTRIALE, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2008(4), pages 51-63.
  23. 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.
  24. repec:idb:brikps:59478 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
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