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Trade Openness and Cross-country Income Differences

  • Hepenstrick, Christian
  • Tarasov, Alexander

Development accounting literature usually attributes the observed cross-country variation in per capita income to differences in countries' factor endowments and total factor productivity (the Solow residual). While the former can be relatively straightforward interpreted and measured, the latter remains at least partly a black box. In this paper, we provide a structural interpretation for differences in total factor productivity across countries and quantitatively explore the role of trade barriers in explaining cross-country income differences. In particular, we find that giving all countries the same market entry costs or giving all country-pairs the same variable trade costs reduces inequality by around 13%.

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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 402.

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Date of creation: 29 May 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:402
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  1. Joao Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2005. "The log of gravity," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3744, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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  19. Feenstra, Robert C, 1994. "New Product Varieties and the Measurement of International Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 157-77, March.
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