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Trade and growth with heterogeneous firms

  • Robert Baldwin
  • Frédéric Robert-Nicoud

This paper explores the impact of trade on growth when firms are heterogeneous. We find that greater openness produces anti-and pro-growth effects. The Melitz-model selection effects raises the expected cost of introducing a new variety and this tends to slow the rate of new-variety introduction and hence growth. The pro-growth effect stems from the impact that freer trade has on the marginal cost of innovating. The balance of the two effects is ambiguous with the sign depending upon the exact nature of the innovation technology and its connection to international trade in goods and ideas. We consider five special cases (these include the Grossman-Helpman, the Coe- Helpman and Rivera-Batiz-Romer models) two of which suggest that trade harms growth; the others predicting the opposite.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/19856/
File Function: Open access version.
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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 19856.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:19856
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  1. Baldwin, Richard & Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric, 2004. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity: A Comment," CEPR Discussion Papers 4634, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S71-102, October.
  3. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Melitz, Marc, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Scholarly Articles 3229096, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  8. Bulent Unel, 2010. "Technology Diffusion through Trade with Heterogeneous Firms," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(3), pages 465-481, 08.
  9. Keller, W., 1997. "Trade and the Transmission of Technology," Working papers 9620r, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  10. Eaton, Jonathan & Kortum, Samuel, 2001. "Technology, trade, and growth: A unified framework," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 742-755, May.
  11. 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.
  12. Baldwin, Richard & Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric, 2005. "Trade and Growth with Heterogeneous Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 4965, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2011. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence From French Firms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(5), pages 1453-1498, 09.
  14. Yeaple, Stephen Ross, 2005. "A simple model of firm heterogeneity, international trade, and wages," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 1-20, January.
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  16. Erzo G. J. Luttmer, 2007. "Selection, Growth, and the Size Distribution of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1103-1144.
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  18. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 2004. "Why Some Firms Export," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 561-569, May.
  19. Richard E. Baldwin & Rikard Forslid, 2010. "Trade Liberalization with Heterogeneous Firms," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(2), pages 161-176, 05.
  20. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2004. "Dissecting Trade: Firms, Industries, and Export Destinations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 150-154, May.
  21. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2004. "Comparative Advantage and Heterogeneous Firms," CEP Discussion Papers dp0643, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  22. Baldwin, Richard, 1988. "Hyteresis in Import Prices: The Beachhead Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 773-85, September.
  23. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-598.
  24. Richard Baldwin & Paul R. Krugman, 1986. "Persistent Trade Effects of Large Exchage Rate Shocks," NBER Working Papers 2017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Wolfgang Keller, 2001. "International Technology Diffusion," NBER Working Papers 8573, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Dinopoulos, Elias & Segerstrom, Paul, 1999. "The dynamic effects of contingent tariffs," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 191-222, February.
  27. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1989. "Trade; Innovation; And Growth," Papers 154, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  28. Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-50, September.
  29. Demidova, Svetlana, 2005. "Productivity Improvements and Falling Trade Costs: Boon or Bane?," Working Papers 2-05-1, Pennsylvania State University, Department of Economics.
  30. Rivera-Batiz, Luis A. & Romer, Paul M., 1991. "International trade with endogenous technological change," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 971-1001, May.
  31. Dinopoulos, Elias & Segerstrom, Paul, 1996. "A Schumpeterian Model of Protection and Relative Wages," Working Paper Series 471, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  32. Erzo G. J. Luttmer, 2004. "The size distribution of firms in an economy with fixed and entry costs," Working Papers 633, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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  34. 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.
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  36. Hopenhayn, Hugo A., 1992. "Exit, selection, and the value of firms," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 16(3-4), pages 621-653.
  37. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Technology, Geography, and Trade," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1741-1779, September.
  38. Bernard, A., 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," Working papers 97-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  39. Sofronis K. Clerides & Saul Lach & James R. Tybout, 1998. "Is Learning by Exporting Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence from Colombia, Mexico, and Morocco," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 903-947.
  40. Luis A. Rivera-Batiz & Paul M. Romer, 1991. "Economic Integration and Endogenous Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 531-555.
  41. Andrew Berg & Anne O. Krueger, 2003. "Trade, Growth, and Poverty: A Selective Survey," IMF Working Papers 03/30, International Monetary Fund.
  42. Bee Yan Aw & Sukkyun Chung & Mark J. Roberts, 1998. "Productivity and the Decision to Export: Micro Evidence from Taiwan and South Korea," NBER Working Papers 6558, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  43. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-59, December.
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