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

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  • Andres Erosa
  • Ana Hidalgo

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Andres Erosa & Ana Hidalgo, 2007. "On Finance as a Theory of TFP, Cross-Industry Productivity Differences, and Economic Rents," Working Papers tecipa-285, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-285
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Valerie R. Bencivenga & Bruce D. Smith, 1991. "Financial Intermediation and Endogenous Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 195-209.
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    6. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Macroeconmics; Capital Market Imperfections; Total-factor Productivity; Relative Prices; Sectorial Allocation; Limited Enforcement;

    JEL classification:

    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

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