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Credit constraints, endogenous innovations, and price setting in international trade

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  • Eckel, Carsten
  • Unger, Florian

Abstract

We introduce credit frictions motivated by moral hazard in a general equilibrium model of international trade with two dimensions of heterogeneity and endogenous investments. Firms’ competitiveness consists of capabilities to conduct process and quality innovations at low costs, whereas investment outlays have to be financed by external capital. We show that the scope for vertical product differentiation in a sector determines how credit tightening affects investment and price setting. Consistent with recent empirical evidence, our model rationalizes positive as well as negative correlations of firm-level FOB prices with financial frictions and variable trade costs. Faced with an increase in the borrowing rate, producers reduce both types of innovation resulting in opposing effects on marginal production costs and prices. In general equilibrium, financial frictions intensify quality-based (cost-based) sorting of firms if the scope for vertical product differentiation is high (low). Consequently, credit tightening leads to firm exit, increased innovation activity among existing suppliers, and welfare losses that are larger in sectors with low investment intensity.

Suggested Citation

  • Eckel, Carsten & Unger, Florian, 2015. "Credit constraints, endogenous innovations, and price setting in international trade," Discussion Papers in Economics 24858, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:24858
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    Cited by:

    1. Unger, Florian, 2016. "The Role of Financial Intermediation in International Trade," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145855, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    international trade; external finance; credit constraints; moral hazard; quality; innovation; product Prices.;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

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