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Equilibrium Technology Diffusion, Trade, and Growth

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  • Jesse Perla
  • Christopher Tonetti
  • Michael E. Waugh

Abstract

We study how opening to trade affects economic growth in a model where heterogeneous firms can adopt new technologies already in use by other firms in their home country. We characterize the growth rate using a summary statistic of the profit distribution—the mean-min ratio. Opening to trade increases the profit spread through increased export opportunities and foreign competition, induces more rapid technology adoption, and generates faster growth. Faster growth comes with costs: labor is reallocated away from production and fewer varieties are produced domestically. Quantitatively, these forces balance to produce large consumption-equivalent welfare gains from trade—especially along the transition path.

Suggested Citation

  • Jesse Perla & Christopher Tonetti & Michael E. Waugh, 2015. "Equilibrium Technology Diffusion, Trade, and Growth," NBER Working Papers 20881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20881
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2011. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence From French Firms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(5), pages 1453-1498, September.
    2. Claudia Steinwender, 2015. "The Roles of Import Competition and Export Opportunities for Technical Change," CEP Discussion Papers dp1334, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    3. Giammario Impullitti & Omar Licandro, 2018. "Trade, Firm Selection and Innovation: The Competition Channel," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(608), pages 189-229, February.
    4. Sivadasan Jagadeesh, 2009. "Barriers to Competition and Productivity: Evidence from India," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-66, September.
    5. repec:wsi:wschap:9789813209398_0001 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Costas Arkolakis, 2010. "Market Penetration Costs and the New Consumers Margin in International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(6), pages 1151-1199.
    7. Francisco L. Rivera-Batiz & Luis A. Rivera-Batiz, 2018. "Economic Integration and Endogenous Growth," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: International Trade, Capital Flows and Economic Development, chapter 1, pages 3-32 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    8. Jesse Perla & Christopher Tonetti, 2014. "Equilibrium Imitation and Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(1), pages 52-76.
    9. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    10. Jesse Perla & Christopher Tonetti & Jess Benhabib, 2014. "The Growth Dynamics of Innovation, Diffusion, and the Technology Frontier," 2014 Meeting Papers 818, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A1 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics
    • E1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models
    • F00 - International Economics - - General - - - General
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

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