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On Finance as a Theory of TFP, Cross-Industry Productivity Differences, and Economic Rents

  • Andres Erosa
  • Ana Hidalgo

We develop a theory of capital-market imperfections to study how the ability to enforce contracts affects resource allocation across entrepreneurs of different productivities, and across industries with different needs for external financing. The theory implies that countries with a poor ability to enforce contracts are characterized by the use of inefficient technologies, low aggregate TFP, low development of financial markets, large differences in labor productivity across industries, and large employment shares in industries with low productivity. These implications of our theory are supported by the empirical evidence. The 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.

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Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number tecipa-285.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: 03 Apr 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-285
Contact details of provider: Postal: 150 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario
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  1. Greenwood, Jeremy & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1990. "Financial Development, Growth, and the Distribution of Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 1076-1107, October.
  2. Diego Restuccia & Dennis Tao Yang & Xiaodong Zhu, 2003. "Agriculture and Aggregate Productivity: A Quantitative Cross-Country Analysis," Working Papers diegor-03-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  3. Levine, Ross, 1996. "Financial development and economic growth : views and agenda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1678, The World Bank.
  4. Herrendorf, Berthold & Teixeira, Arilton, 2003. "Monopoly Rights can Reduce Income Big Time," CEPR Discussion Papers 3854, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Bencivenga, V.R. & Smith, B.D., 1988. "Financial Intermediation And Endogenous Growth," RCER Working Papers 124, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  6. Krusell, Per & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1996. "Vested Interests in a Positive Theory of Stagnation and Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 301-29, April.
  7. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
  8. Holmes, Thomas J. & Jr., James A. Schmitz, 2001. "A gain from trade: From unproductive to productive entrepreneurship," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 417-446, April.
  9. Rui Castro & Gian Luca Clementi & Glenn Macdonald, 2009. "Legal Institutions, Sectoral Heterogeneity, and Economic Development," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(2), pages 529-561.
  10. Douglas Gollin & Stephen Parente & Richard Rogerson, 2002. "The Role of Agriculture in Development," Department of Economics Working Papers 2002-09, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  11. Stephen L. Parente & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Barriers to Riches," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661306, June.
  12. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
  13. John H. Boyd & Edward C. Prescott, 1985. "Financial intermediary-coalitions," Staff Report 87, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  14. 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.
  15. Edward C. Prescott & Stephen L. Parente, 1999. "Monopoly Rights: A Barrier to Riches," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1216-1233, December.
  16. Restuccia, Diego & Urrutia, Carlos, 2001. "Relative prices and investment rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 93-121, February.
  17. Townsend, Robert M, 1978. "Intermediation with Costly Bilateral Exchange," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(3), pages 417-25, October.
  18. repec:ste:nystbu:05-20 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Rui Castro & Gian Luca Clementi & Glenn MacDonald, 2004. "Investor Protection, Optimal Incentives, and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(3), pages 1131-1175, August.
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