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

Listed author(s):
  • 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
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8942
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  1. Hall, Bronwyn H. & Lerner, Josh, 2010. "The Financing of R&D and Innovation," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.
  2. 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).
  3. Bulent Unel, "undated". "The Interaction Between Technology Adoption and Trade When Firms are Heterogeneous," Departmental Working Papers 2010-03, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
  4. Claudia M. Buch & Iris Kesternich & Alexander Lipponer, 2009. "Financial Constraints and the Margins of FDI," IAW Discussion Papers 54, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).
  5. 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.
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  7. 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.
  8. Bernard, A., 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," Working papers 97-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  9. Paula Bustos, 2009. "Trade Liberalization, Exports and Technology Upgrading: Evidence on the Impact of MERCOSUR on Argentinean Firms," 2009 Meeting Papers 1029, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. 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, May.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  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. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, "undated". "Financial Dependence and Growth," CRSP working papers 344, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  15. Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Schnitzer, Monika, 2010. "Financial Constraints and Innovation: Why Poor Countries Don't Catch Up," IZA Discussion Papers 4786, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. 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.
  17. Kalina Manova, 2008. "Credit Constraints, Heterogeneous Firms, and International Trade," NBER Working Papers 14531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. 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.
  19. 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).
  20. Yeaple, Stephen & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2004. "Export versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," Scholarly Articles 3229098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  24. repec:idb:brikps:59478 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. 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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