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Globalization and Productivity in the Developing World

  • Foellmi, Reto

    ()

  • Oechslin, Manuel

    ()

We explore the productivity impact of international trade in a monopolistically competitive economy with endogenous mark-ups due to credit market frictions. We show that reducing trade barriers in such an environment (i) may - but not necessarily must – have a negative impact on productivity and output; (ii) is bound to increase the polarization of the income distribution. The reason is that the pro-competitive effects of trade reduce mark-ups and hence the borrowing capacity of less affluent entrepreneurs. As a result, smaller firms may no longer be able to make the investments required to operate the high-productivity technology. Our findings are consistent with evidence from developing countries which (i) does not suggest a clear-cut impact of trade on economic performance; (ii) hints at an inequality-increasing effect of globalization.

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File URL: http://ux-tauri.unisg.ch/RePEc/usg/econwp/EWP-1203.pdf
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Paper provided by University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science in its series Economics Working Paper Series with number 1203.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2012
Handle: RePEc:usg:econwp:2012:03
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