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Trade liberalization and credit constraints: Why opening up may fail to promote convergence

  • Peters, Katrin
  • Schnitzer, Monika

Recent evidence suggests that despite opening up a country for trade, the productivity gap between developed and emerging economies often does not close. This paper examines credit constraints as one channel held responsible for hampering convergence. Specifically, we extend a Melitz and Ottaviano (2008) type trade model with variable mark-ups to allow for endogenous technology adoption. We consider a framework with two countries that potentially differ with respect to credit market development. Firms have the option to adopt a more efficient technology by paying some fixed cost. A fraction of the fixed technology adoption cost has to be financed externally: in a less developed credit market, the costs of external finance and thus the total costs of technology adoption are higher. A reduction in trade costs raises demand abroad (pro technology-adoption effect) but reduces demand at home because of import competition (anti technology-adoption effect). We find that trade liberalization increases economic performance, that is average productivity and technology adoption, in both countries but that the productivity gap widens. Simulations show that the welfare gap widens too. Opening up without sufficient access to external funding thus fails to promote convergence.

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Paper provided by Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich in its series Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems with number 380.

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Date of creation: Apr 2012
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Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:380
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  1. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," NBER Working Papers 6272, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Andrew Atkeson & Ariel Burstein, 2007. "Innovation, Firm Dynamics, and International Trade," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000001423, David K. Levine.
  3. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 295-316.
  4. Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Schnitzer, Monika, 2010. "Financial Constraints and Innovation: Why Poor Countries Don't Catch Up," IZA Discussion Papers 4786, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  9. BEHRENS, Kristian & OTTAVIANO, Gianmarco I. P. & MION, Giordano, 2007. "Industry reallocations in a globalizing economy," CORE Discussion Papers 2007012, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  10. Buch, Claudia M. & Kesternich, Iris & Lipponer, Alexander & Schnitzer, Monika, 2009. "Financial Constraints and the Margins of FDI," CEPR Discussion Papers 7444, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  12. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Hall, Bronwyn H. & Lerner, Josh, 2010. "The Financing of R&D and Innovation," MERIT Working Papers 012, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
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  25. repec:idb:brikps:59478 is not listed on IDEAS
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