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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. Navas-Ruiz, Antonio & Sala, Davide, 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.
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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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