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Endowment Versus Finance; A Wooden Barrel Theory of International Trade

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  • Jiandong Ju
  • Shang-Jin Wei

Abstract

This paper develops a theory of international trade in which financial development and factor endowments jointly determine comparative advantage. We apply the financial contract model of Holmstrom and Tirole (1998) to the Heckscher-Ohlin-Samuelson (HOS) model in which firms' dependence on external finance is endogenous, and the demand for external finance is constrained by financial development. The theory nests HOS model as a special case. A key result that emerges is what we call the law of a wooden barrel: if the external finance constraint is binding, then further financial development will increase the output of the industry more dependent on external finance, and decrease the output of the other industry. It is shown that financial development makes both labor and unemployed capital better off, but incumbent capital worse off. Therefore, financial development depends on the relative strength of political forces among labor, unemployed capital owners, and incumbent capital owners. If only the capital constraint is binding, on the other hand, the standard HOS predictions will apply.

Suggested Citation

  • Jiandong Ju & Shang-Jin Wei, 2005. "Endowment Versus Finance; A Wooden Barrel Theory of International Trade," IMF Working Papers 05/123, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:05/123
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    Cited by:

    1. Iacovone, Leonardo & Zavacka, Veronika, 2009. "Banking crises and exports : lessons from the past," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5016, The World Bank.
    2. Marianna Belloc & Samuel Bowles, 2009. "International Trade, Factor Mobility and the Persistence of Cultural-Institutional Diversity," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2009-08, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
    3. Shang-Jin Wei & Jiandong Ju, 2006. "A Solution to Two Paradoxes of International Capital Flows," IMF Working Papers 06/178, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Jaud Melise , & Kukenova Madina & Strieborny Martin, 2010. "Finance, Comparative Advantage, and Resource Allocation," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 10.16, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
    5. Ju, Jiandong & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2011. "When is quality of financial system a source of comparative advantage?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 178-187, July.
    6. Rafael Cezar, 2012. "Le développement financier et les avantages commerciaux," Working Papers DT/2012/19, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    7. Do, Quy-Toan & Levchenko, Andrei A., 2007. "Comparative advantage, demand for external finance, and financial development," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(3), pages 796-834, December.
    8. Pol Antràs & Ricardo J. Caballero, 2009. "Trade and Capital Flows: A Financial Frictions Perspective," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(4), pages 701-744, August.
    9. Huang, Yongfu & Temple, Jonathan, 2005. "Does External Trade Promote Financial Development?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5150, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Dingming Liu & Pu Chen & Chunyang Wang, 2015. "How Local Financial Market Conditions, Interest Rates, and Productivity Relate to Decisions to Export," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 16(2), pages 315-334, November.
    11. Christian Keuschnigg & Evelyn Ribi, 2010. "Business Taxation, Corporate Finance and Economic Performance," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2010 2010-04, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    International trade; External Finance; Factor Endowment; Financial Development; HOS model; Wooden Barrel; external capital; capital market; capital owners; Neoclassical Models of Trade; Financial Institutions and Services: General;

    JEL classification:

    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General

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