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Trade adjustment and productivity in large crises

  • Gita Gopinath
  • Brent Neiman

The authors empirically characterize the mechanics of trade adjustment during the Argentine crisis using detailed firm-level customs data covering the universe of import transactions made during 1996-2008. Their main findings are as follows: First, the extensive margin defined as the entry and exit of firms or of products (at the country level) plays a small role during the crisis. Second, the sub-extensive margin defined as the churning of inputs within firms plays a sizeable role in aggregate adjustment. This implies that the true increase in input costs exceeds that imputed from conventional price indices. Third, the relative importance of these margins and of overall trade adjustment varies with firm size. Motivated by these facts, we build a model of trade in intermediate inputs with heterogeneous firms, fixed import costs, and round-about production to evaluate the channels through which a collapse in imports affects TFP (total factor productivity) in manufacturing. Measured aggregate productivity in the sector depends on within-firm adjustments to the varieties imported as well as the joint distribution of each firm's technology and the share of imports in its total spending on inputs. We simulate an imported input cost shock and show that these mechanisms can deliver quantitatively significant declines in manufacturing TFP.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in its series Working Papers with number 11-9.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:11-9
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  1. Gopinath, Gita & Neiman, Brent, 2014. "Trade Adjustment and Productivity in Large Crises," Scholarly Articles 12330899, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Justin Pierce & Peter Schott, 2009. "A Concordance Between Ten-Digit U.S. Harmonized System Codes and SIC/NAICS Product Classes and Industries," Working Papers 09-41, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. Finn Kydland & Carlos E.J.M.Zarazaga, 2002. "Argentina's recovery and excess capital shallowing of the 1990s," Estudios de Economia, University of Chile, Department of Economics, vol. 29(1 Year 20), pages 35-45, June.
  4. László Halpern & Miklós Koren & Adam Szeidl, 2011. "Imported Inputs and Productivity," CeFiG Working Papers 8, Center for Firms in the Global Economy, revised 16 Sep 2011.
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  7. Timothy J. Kehoe & Kim J. Ruhl, 2008. "Are Shocks to the Terms of Trade Shocks to Productivity?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(4), pages 804-819, October.
  8. George Alessandria & Joseph Kaboski & Virgiliu Midrigan, 2008. "Inventories, lumpy trade, and large devaluations," Working Paper Series 2008-24, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  9. Fabio Ghironi & Marc J. Melitz, 2004. "International Trade and Macroeconomic Dynamics with Heterogeneous Firms," NBER Working Papers 10540, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. John Fernald & Brent Neiman, 2011. "Growth Accounting with Misallocation: Or, Doing Less with More in Singapore," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 29-74, April.
  11. Pablo Andrés Neumeyer & Guido Sandleris, 2010. "Understanding Productivity During the Argentine Crisis," Business School Working Papers 2010-04, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
  12. Sergio Rebelo & Ariel Burstein & Martin Eichenbaum, 2004. "Large Devaluations and the Real Exchange Rate," 2004 Meeting Papers 137, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  13. Felipe Meza & Erwan Quintin, 2005. "Financial Crises and Total Factor Productivity: The Mexican Case," 2005 Meeting Papers 478, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  14. Robert C. Feenstra & Benjamin R. Mandel & Marshall B. Reinsdorf & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2013. "Effects of Terms of Trade Gains and Tariff Changes on the Measurement of US Productivity Growth," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 59-93, February.
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  17. Arnaud Costinot & Andres Rodriguez-Clare & Costas Arkolakis, 2010. "New Trade Models, Same Old Gains?," 2010 Meeting Papers 433, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  18. Kohli, Ulrich, 2004. "Real GDP, real domestic income, and terms-of-trade changes," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 83-106, January.
  19. Miklos Koren & Roc Armenter, 2008. "A Balls-and-Bins Model of Trade," 2008 Meeting Papers 365, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  20. 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.
  21. Ariel Burstein & Javier Cravino, 2012. "Measured Aggregate Gains from International Trade," NBER Working Papers 17767, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Costas Arkolakis & Svetlana Demidova & Peter J. Klenow & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 2008. "Endogenous Variety and the Gains from Trade," NBER Working Papers 13933, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Felipe Meza & Erwan Quintin, 2005. "Financial crises and total factor productivity," Center for Latin America Working Papers 0105, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  24. Enrique G. Mandoza & Vivian Z. Yue, 2008. "A solution to the default risk-business cycle disconnect," International Finance Discussion Papers 924, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  25. Christian Broda & Joshua Greenfield & David Weinstein, 2006. "From Groundnuts to Globalization: A Structural Estimate of Trade and Growth," NBER Working Papers 12512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Thomas Chaney, 2008. "Distorted Gravity: The Intensive and Extensive Margins of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1707-21, September.
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