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Externalities, Endogenous Productivity, and Poverty Traps

Author

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  • Barseghyan, Levon

    (Cornell University)

  • DiCecio, Riccardo

    () (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)

Abstract

We present a version of the neoclassical model with an endogenous industry structure. We construct a distribution of firms’ productivity that implies multiple steady-state equilibria even with an arbitrarily small degree of increasing returns to scale. While the most productive firms operate across all the steady states, in a poverty trap less productive firms operate as well. This results in lower average firm productivity and total factor productivity. The distributions of employment by firm size across steady states are consistent with the empirical observation that poor countries have a higher fraction of employment in small firms than rich countries. Differences in output and total factor productivity across steady states are increasing in the degree of returns to scale, the capital share, and the Frisch elasticity of labor supply.

Suggested Citation

  • Barseghyan, Levon & DiCecio, Riccardo, 2008. "Externalities, Endogenous Productivity, and Poverty Traps," Working Papers 2008-023, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 20 Nov 2015.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2008-023
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Endogenous productivity; multiple equilibria; poverty traps;

    JEL classification:

    • L16 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Industrial Organization and Macroeconomics; Macroeconomic Industrial Structure
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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