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On Capital Market Imperfections as an Origin of Low TFP and Economic Rents


  • Ana Hidalgo
  • Andres Erosa


We propose a theory where capital market imperfections are at the origin of cross-country TFP differences. In our theory entrepreneurs have private information about the multifactor productivity of their technology. We study how the contracting environment, as described by the ability to enforce contracts, affects the provision of incentives and, thus, resource allocation to and across entrepreneurs. We assume that countries differ in the ability to enforce contracts and show that, in the presence of assymmetric information, countries with low enforcement use inefficient technologies in equilibrium and are characterized by differences in productivity across industries. Our theory also suggests that entrepreneurs have a vested interest in maintaining a status quo with low enforcement since it allows them to extract rents from the factor services they hire.

Suggested Citation

  • Ana Hidalgo & Andres Erosa, 2004. "On Capital Market Imperfections as an Origin of Low TFP and Economic Rents," 2004 Meeting Papers 16, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed004:16

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Berthold Herrendorf & Akos Valentinyi, 2005. "Which Sectors Make the Poor Countries so Unproductive?," IEHAS Discussion Papers 0519, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
    2. Bah, El-hadj & Fang, Lei, 2016. "Entry Costs, Financial Frictions, And Cross-Country Differences In Income And Tfp," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(04), pages 884-908, June.
    3. Pedro S. Amaral & Erwan Quintin, 2005. "Finance matters," Center for Latin America Working Papers 0104, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    4. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2007. "Relative Prices and Relative Prosperity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 562-585, June.
    5. Daron Acemoglu & Pol Antràs & Elhanan Helpman, 2007. "Contracts and Technology Adoption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 916-943, June.
    6. Pedro Cavalcanti Ferreira & Joao victor Issler & Samuel de Abreu Pessoa, 2005. "An investigation of cross-country incme differences," Revista de Analisis Economico – Economic Analysis Review, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines, vol. 20(2), pages 3-22, December.
    7. Lei Fang, 2010. "Entry Barriers, Financial Frictions, and Cross-Country Differences in Income and TFP," 2010 Meeting Papers 505, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Herrendorf, Berthold & Valentinyi, Akos, 2005. "What Sectors Make the Poor Countries So Unproductive?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5399, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item


    Capital Market Imperfections; Total Factor Productivity; Relative Price Distortions; Taxation;

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O49 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Other
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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