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Productivity in economies with financial frictions: facts and a theory

  • Meza, Felipe
  • Benjamin, David

We document and account for two facts regarding the relation between international interest rates and total factor productivity (TFP) in a sample of developing countries. First, there is a negative correlation between both variables at quarterly frequency. Second, the share of agricultural labor and interest rates are positively correlated, whereas the share of agricultural labor and TFP are negatively correlated. Manufacturing labor shows opposite correlations. These relationships are particularly strong in the aftermath of financial crises. We then construct a model in which the presence of costly intermediation can produce such relationships. We show that, after increases in interest rates, a requirement to intermediate factors of production in high productivity sectors, like manufacturing, causes resources to leave these sectors. Resources end up in low productivity sectors, like agriculture, where intermediation is cheaper. This lowers aggregate productivity. We show that the channel we identify is quantitatively important in the case of Korea after the 1997 financial crisis. Keywords; small open economy, financial intermediation, total factor productivity

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Paper provided by Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton in its series Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics with number 0613.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2006
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Handle: RePEc:stn:sotoec:0613
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  1. Mark Gertler & Simon Gilchrist & Fabio Natalucci, 2001. "External constraints on monetary policy and the financial accelerator," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  2. Pedro S. Amaral & Erwan Quintin, 2005. "Finance Matters," Macroeconomics 0502007, EconWPA.
  3. Timothy J. Kehoe, 2003. "What Can We Learn from the Current Crisis in Argentina?," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 50(5), pages 609-633, November.
  4. Bee Yan Aw & Sukkyun Chung & Mark J. Roberts, 2002. "Productivity, Output, and Failure: A Comparison of Taiwanese and Korean Manufacturers," NBER Working Papers 8766, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Huffman, Gregory W, 1988. "Investment, Capacity Utilization, and the Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 402-17, June.
  6. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2002. "Closing Small Open Economy Models," CEPR Discussion Papers 3096, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Neumeyer, Pablo Andrés & Perri, Fabrizio, 2004. "Business Cycles in Emerging Economies: The Role of Interest Rates," CEPR Discussion Papers 4482, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Felipe Meza & Erwan Quintin, 2005. "Financial crises and total factor productivity," Center for Latin America Working Papers 0105, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  9. Ayse Imrohoroglu & Krishna B. Kumar, 2004. "Intermediation Costs and Capital Flows," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(3), pages 586-612, July.
  10. Andres Erosa, 2001. "Financial Intermediation and Occupational Choice in Development," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(2), pages 303-334, April.
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