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Trade Liberalization and Firm Dynamics

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  • Ariel Burstein
  • Marc J. Melitz

Abstract

In this paper, we analyze the transition dynamics associated with an economy's response to trade liberalization. We start by reviewing the recent literature that incorporates firm dynamics into models of international trade. We then build upon that literature to characterize the role of firm dynamics, export-market selection, firm-level innovation, sunk export costs, and firms' expectations regarding the time path of liberalization in generating those transition dynamics following trade liberalization. These modeling ingredients generate substantial aggregate transition dynamics as they shift and shape the endogenous distribution of firms over time. Our results show how the responses of trade volumes, innovation, and aggregate output can vary greatly over time depending on those modeling ingredients. This has important consequences for many issues in international economics that rely on predictions for the effects of globalization over time on those key aggregate outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Ariel Burstein & Marc J. Melitz, 2011. "Trade Liberalization and Firm Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 16960, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16960
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sala, Davide & Navas-Ruiz, Antonio, 2007. "Technology adoption and the selection effect of trade," UC3M Working papers. Economics we076737, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    2. Long, Ngo Van & Raff, Horst & Stähler, Frank, 2011. "Innovation and trade with heterogeneous firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 149-159, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Trade Liberalization and Firm Dynamics
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2011-04-26 19:09:20

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kyle Handley & Nuno Limão, 2018. "Trade and Investment under Policy Uncertainty: Theory and Firm Evidence," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Policy Externalities and International Trade Agreements, chapter 4, pages 89-122, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    2. Cacciatore, Matteo, 2014. "International trade and macroeconomic dynamics with labor market frictions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 17-30.
    3. Liao, Wei & Santacreu, Ana Maria, 2015. "The trade comovement puzzle and the margins of international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 266-288.
    4. Schröder, Philipp J.H. & Sørensen, Allan, 2012. "Firm exit, technological progress and trade," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 579-591.
    5. Breinlich, Holger, 2014. "Heterogeneous firm-level responses to trade liberalization: A test using stock price reactions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 270-285.
    6. Liu, Runjuan & Rosell, Carlos, 2013. "Import competition, multi-product firms, and basic innovation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 220-234.
    7. Kropf, Andreas & Sauré, Philip, 2014. "Fixed costs per shipment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 166-184.
    8. Peter Arendorf Bache, 2012. "A Dynamic Model of Trade with Heterogeneous Firms," Economics Working Papers 2012-03, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    9. Di Ubaldo, Mattia, 2016. "Firms and trade in downturns," Economics PhD Theses 0416, Department of Economics, University of Sussex Business School.
    10. Li, Xiaogang, 2020. "Innovation, market valuations, policy uncertainty and trade: Theory and evidence," ISU General Staff Papers 202001010800009179, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    11. Alessandria, George & Choi, Horag, 2014. "Establishment heterogeneity, exporter dynamics, and the effects of trade liberalization," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 207-223.
    12. Kalina Manova & Zhiwei Zhang, 2012. "Export Prices Across Firms and Destinations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 379-436.
    13. Douglas L. Campbell, 2013. "Relative Prices, Hysteresis, and the Decline of American Manufacturing," 2013 Papers pca584, Job Market Papers.
    14. Florian Mölders, 2016. "On the Path to Trade Liberalisation: Political Regimes in Trade Negotiations," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(7), pages 890-924, July.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance

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