Barriers to Firm Growth in Open Economies
The international trade literature finds strong links between firm growth and export decisions. In spite of this, the literature analyzing cross-country differences in firm growth commonly abstracts from trade. We develop a tractable, dynamic model to understand the consequences of this abstraction. We find that the closed economy (i) under-estimates domestic (firm) growth barriers, potentially modifying the rankings across countries; and (ii) over-predicts the effects of counterfactuals. To asses the quantitative relevance of these findings, we calibrate the model to a set of European countries. The model successfully captures differences in value added per worker, accounting for between 54 and 87% of the differences across countries. We find that a closed economy alters the ranking of countries according to the size of these barriers and over-predicts the effects of counterfactuals on welfare by between 31 and 64% relative to the open economy. Thus, trade is essential for measuring barriers to firm growth and their counterfactuals in open economies.
|Date of creation:||2013|
|Date of revision:||Mar 2013|
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