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Growth and Global Imbalances: The Role of Learning-by-Exporting

  • Seok, Byoung Hoon

Rapidly growing developing economies have exported heavily and run current account surpluses. Empirical studies suggest that "learning-by-exporting" may be quantitatively large in developing countries and behind some of this dramatic growth. This paper explores if learning-by-exporting helps explain the key macroeconomic behavior of fast growing developing countries. It builds up a two country general equilibrium growth model in which a developing economy benefits from learning-by-exporting as it trades with a developed economy. As the benchmark, I consider a setup in which the policies are restricted to non-trade related ones by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and compare it to a model with "No-WTO restrictions". The optimal policies in the presence of WTO restrictions rationalize the observed current account surpluses of rapidly growing developing economies. However, if there were no WTO restrictions, the developing countries would manipulate their terms of trade rather than their current account, which improves the welfare of both developing and developed countries. This highlights the fact that terms of trade manipulation can be "win-win" in the presence of learning-by-exporting. This paper also considers a "Coordinated Policy" problem to obtain the first-best outcomes for the world. In this setup, the developing country's terms of trade deteriorate even more and it runs a greater current account deficit relative to the "No-WTO Restrictions" case.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/46661/1/MPRA_paper_46506.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 46506.

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Date of creation: 27 Oct 2011
Date of revision: 30 Mar 2013
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:46506
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  1. Alan C. Stockman & Linda L. Tesar, 1990. "Tastes and Technology in a Two-Country Model of the Business Cycle: Explaining International Comovements," NBER Working Papers 3566, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. De Loecker, Jan, 2010. "A Note on Detecting Learning by Exporting," CEPR Discussion Papers 8121, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  12. Jan De Loecker, 2004. "Do Exports Generate Higher Productivity? Evidence from Slovenia," LICOS Discussion Papers 15104, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  13. Ricardo J Caballero & Emmanuel Farhi & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, 2006. "An equilibrum model of "global imbalances" and low interest rates," BIS Working Papers 222, Bank for International Settlements.
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  16. Jones, Larry E. & Manuelli, Rodolfo E. & Rossi, Peter E., 1997. "On the Optimal Taxation of Capital Income," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 93-117, March.
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  18. Blalock, Garrick & Gertler, Paul J., 2004. "Learning from exporting revisited in a less developed setting," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 397-416, December.
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