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Barriers to Firm Growth in Open Economies

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  • Facundo Piguillem
  • Loris Rubini

Abstract

Studies measuring barriers to firm growth assume economies are closed, ignoring information on firm exports. We argue that this information is key to interpret data and improve the accuracy of model predictions. To show this, we develop a dynamic model with export and domestic barriers. We show theoretically that the closed economy model under-estimates barriers and amplifies counterfactuals. By calibrating the model to a set of European countries, we find that quantitatively this matters: for example, the closed economy fails to see that Italian firms are very efficient exporters but lousy innovators, and instead conclude that they are mediocre innovators. In terms of predictions, the closed economy model delivers an elasticity of welfare to innovation costs between 31 and 64 percent larger than the open economy model.

Suggested Citation

  • Facundo Piguillem & Loris Rubini, 2013. "Barriers to Firm Growth in Open Economies," Documentos de Trabajo 443, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  • Handle: RePEc:ioe:doctra:443
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    File URL: http://www.economia.uc.cl/docs/dt_443.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. James R. Tybout, 2000. "Manufacturing Firms in Developing Countries: How Well Do They Do, and Why?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 11-44, March.
    2. Bee Yan Aw & Mark J. Roberts & Daniel Yi Xu, 2011. "R&D Investment, Exporting, and Productivity Dynamics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1312-1344, June.
    3. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Amit Kumar Khandelwal & Nina Pavcnik & Petia Topalova, 2010. "Imported Intermediate Inputs and Domestic Product Growth: Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1727-1767.
    4. Impullitti, Giammario & Irarrazabal, Alfonso A. & Opromolla, Luca David, 2013. "A theory of entry into and exit from export markets," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 75-90.
    5. Maria Guadalupe & Olga Kuzmina & Catherine Thomas, 2012. "Innovation and Foreign Ownership," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(7), pages 3594-3627, December.
    6. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2009. "Misallocation and Manufacturing TFP in China and India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1403-1448.
    7. Xavier Gabaix, 2011. "The Granular Origins of Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(3), pages 733-772, May.
    8. Van Biesebroeck, Johannes, 2005. "Exporting raises productivity in sub-Saharan African manufacturing firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 373-391, December.
    9. 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.
    10. Rubini, Loris, 2009. "Innovation and the Elasticity of Trade Volumes to Tariff Reductions," MPRA Paper 21484, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. De Loecker, Jan, 2007. "Do exports generate higher productivity? Evidence from Slovenia," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 69-98, September.
    12. Loris Rubini & Klaus Desmet & Facundo Piguillem & Aranzazu Crespo, . "Breaking down the barriers to firmgrowth in Europe The fourth EFIGE policy report," Blueprints, Bruegel, number 744.
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    Cited by:

    1. Francesca Barbiero & Michael Blanga-Gubbay & Valeria Cipollone & Koen De Backer & Sébastien Miroudot & Alexandros Ragoussis & André Sapir & Reinhilde Veugelers & Erkki Vihriälä & Guntram B. Wolff & Ge, . "Manufacturing Europe’s future," Blueprints, Bruegel, number 795.
    2. Joachim Wagner, 2015. "Firm age and the margins of international trade: Comparable evidence from five European countries," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(1), pages 145-158.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

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