IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wbk/wbrwps/3836.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Trade, inequality, and the political economy of institutions

Author

Listed:
  • Do, Quy-Toan
  • Levchenko, Andrei A.

Abstract

The authors analyze the relationship between international trade and the quality of economic institutions such as contract enforcement, rule of law, or property rights. The literature on institutions has argued, both empirically and theoretically, that larger firms care less about good institutions and that higher inequality leads to worse institutions. Recent literature on international trade enables the authors to analyze economies with heterogeneous firms, and argue that trade opening leads to a reallocation of production in which large firms grow larger, while small firms become smaller or disappear. Combining these two strands of literature, the authors build a model that has two key features. First, preferences over institutional quality differ across firms and depend on firm size. Second, institutional quality is endogenously determined in a political economy framework. They show that trade opening can worsen institutions when it increases the political power of a small elite of large exporters that prefer to maintain bad institutions. The detrimental effect of trade on institutions is most likely to occur when a small country captures a sufficiently large share of world exports in sectors characterized by economic profits.

Suggested Citation

  • Do, Quy-Toan & Levchenko, Andrei A., 2006. "Trade, inequality, and the political economy of institutions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3836, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3836
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2006/01/26/000016406_20060126163148/Rendered/PDF/wps3836.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Andrei A. Levchenko, 2013. "International Trade and Institutional Change," The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(5), pages 1145-1181, October.
    2. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2003. "Export versus FDI," NBER Working Papers 9439, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Fabio Ghironi & Marc J. Melitz, 2005. "International Trade and Macroeconomic Dynamics with Heterogeneous Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 865-915.
    4. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 2000. "The Great Reversals: The Politics of Financial Development in the 20th Century," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 265, OECD Publishing.
    5. Christodoulos Stefanadis, 2010. "Appropriation, Property Rights Institutions, and International Trade," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 148-172, November.
    6. Xavier Sala-i-Martin & Arvind Subramanian, 2013. "Addressing the Natural Resource Curse: An Illustration from Nigeria," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 22(4), pages 570-615, August.
    7. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
    8. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A., 2005. "Institutions as a Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 385-472, Elsevier.
    9. Andrei A. Levchenko, 2007. "Institutional Quality and International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 791-819.
    10. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "The Regulation of Entry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 1-37.
    11. Roland Benabou, 2000. "Unequal Societies: Income Distribution and the Social Contract," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 96-129, March.
    12. repec:hrv:faseco:30747190 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Ades, Alberto & Di Tella, Rafael, 1997. "National Champions and Corruption: Some Unpleasant Interventionist Arithmetic," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1023-1042, July.
    14. G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), 1995. "Handbook of International Economics," Handbook of International Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 3, number 3.
    15. Ruben Segura-Cayuela, 2006. "Inefficient Policies, Inefficient Institutions and Trade," 2006 Meeting Papers 502, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    16. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 105-130, Summer.
    17. Simon Johnson & Jonathan D Ostry & Arvind Subramanian, 2010. "Prospects for Sustained Growth in Africa: Benchmarking the Constraints," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 57(1), pages 119-171, April.
    18. Thierry Verdier, 2005. "Socially Responsible Trade Integration," Post-Print halshs-00754732, HAL.
    19. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson, 2005. "The Rise of Europe: Atlantic Trade, Institutional Change, and Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 546-579, June.
    20. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2003. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1268-1290, September.
    21. Stanley L. Engerman & Kenneth Lee Sokoloff, 2002. "Factor Endowments, Inequality, and Paths of Development Among New World Economies," Economía Journal, The Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association - LACEA, vol. 0(Fall 2002), pages 41-110, August.
    22. Krueger, Anne O, 1974. "The Political Economy of the Rent-Seeking Society," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(3), pages 291-303, June.
    23. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 131-165, June.
    24. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. Roberto Rigobon & Dani Rodrik, 2004. "Rule of Law, Democracy, Openness, and Income: Estimating the Interrelationships," NBER Working Papers 10750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    26. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(3), pages 691-751, September.
    27. James A. Robinson & Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "Political Losers as a Barrier to Economic Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 126-130, May.
    28. Costas Arkolakis, 2010. "Market Penetration Costs and the New Consumers Margin in International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(6), pages 1151-1199.
    29. Verdier, Thierry, 2004. "Socially Responsible Trade Integration: A Political Economy Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 4699, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    30. Thomas Chaney, 2008. "Distorted Gravity: The Intensive and Extensive Margins of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1707-1721, September.
    31. Jonathan Isham & Michael Woolcock & Lant Pritchett & Gwen Busby, 2005. "The Varieties of Resource Experience: Natural Resource Export Structures and the Political Economy of Economic Growth," The World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 19(2), pages 141-174.
    32. Bombardini, Matilde, 2008. "Firm heterogeneity and lobby participation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 329-348, July.
    33. Philippe Aghion, 2005. "Growth and Institutions," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 32(1), pages 3-18, March.
    34. Per Krusell & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 1996. "Vested Interests in a Positive Theory of Stagnation and Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(2), pages 301-329.
    35. Thorsten Beck & Asli Demirgüç‐Kunt & Vojislav Maksimovic, 2005. "Financial and Legal Constraints to Growth: Does Firm Size Matter?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(1), pages 137-177, February.
    36. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Maksimovic, Vojislav, 2002. "Financial and legal constraints to firm growth - Does size matter?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2784, The World Bank.
    37. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    38. Thomas Chaney, 2008. "Distorted Gravity: The Intensive and Extensive Margins of International Trade," Post-Print hal-03579844, HAL.
    39. Philip R. Lane & Aaron Tornell, 1999. "The Voracity Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 22-46, March.
    40. Rodrik, Dani, 1995. "Political economy of trade policy," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 28, pages 1457-1494, Elsevier.
    41. Roberto Rigobon & Dani Rodrik, 2005. "Rule of law, democracy, openness, and income," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 13(3), pages 533-564, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Saad, Ayhab F., 2021. "Institutional change in the global economy: How trade reform can be detrimental to welfare," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 97-110.
    2. Melitz, Marc J. & Redding, Stephen J., 2014. "Heterogeneous Firms and Trade," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 1-54, Elsevier.
    3. Andrei A. Levchenko, 2013. "International Trade and Institutional Change," The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(5), pages 1145-1181, October.
    4. Hochman, Gal & Tabakis, Chrysostomos & Zilberman, David, 2013. "The impact of international trade on institutions and infrastructure," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 126-140.
    5. Roc Armenter & Miklós Koren, 2015. "Economies Of Scale And The Size Of Exporters," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 482-511, June.
    6. Andrei A. Levchenko & Julian di Giovanni, 2009. "International Trade and Aggregate Fluctuations in Granular Economies," 2009 Meeting Papers 491, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Nguyen, Daniel X., 2012. "Demand uncertainty: Exporting delays and exporting failures," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 336-344.
    8. di Giovanni, Julian & Levchenko, Andrei A., 2013. "Firm entry, trade, and welfare in Zipf's world," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 283-296.
    9. Impullitti, Giammario & Irarrazabal, Alfonso A. & Opromolla, Luca David, 2013. "A theory of entry into and exit from export markets," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 75-90.
    10. Beck, T.H.L., 2010. "Legal Institutions and Economic Development," Other publications TiSEM 8aa07b48-ce55-4cf6-8754-7, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    11. Liao, Wei & Santacreu, Ana Maria, 2015. "The trade comovement puzzle and the margins of international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 266-288.
    12. Martina Lawless, 2010. "Deconstructing gravity: trade costs and extensive and intensive margins," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(4), pages 1149-1172, November.
    13. Jose L. Groizard & Priya Ranjan & Antonio Rodriguez‐Lopez, 2015. "Trade Costs And Job Flows: Evidence From Establishment‐Level Data," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 53(1), pages 173-204, January.
    14. Kristian Behrens & Giordano Mion & Yasusada Murata & Jens Südekum, 2014. "Trade, Wages, And Productivity," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 55(4), pages 1305-1348, November.
    15. Mendoza, Ronald U. & Canare, Tristan A. & Ang, Alvin, 2015. "Doing Business: A Review of Literature and Its Role in APEC 2015," Research Paper Series DP 2015-37, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
    16. Tang, Heiwai, 2012. "Labor market institutions, firm-specific skills, and trade patterns," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 337-351.
    17. Simone Moriconi & Giovanni Peri & Dario Pozzoli, 2020. "The role of institutions and immigrant networks in firms’ offshoring decisions," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 53(4), pages 1745-1792, November.
    18. Till Gross & Stephane Verani, 2012. "Financing Constraints, Firm Dynamics, and International Trade," 2012 Meeting Papers 1035, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    19. Costinot, Arnaud & Komunjer, Ivana, 2006. "What Good Do Countries Trade? New Ricardian Predictions," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt9t9818ng, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
    20. Federico J. Diez & Jesse Mora & Alan C. Spearot, 2016. "Firms in international trade," Working Papers 16-25, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic Theory&Research; Free Trade; Trade Law; Trade Policy; Trade and Services;
    All these keywords.

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3836. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/dvewbus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Roula I. Yazigi (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/dvewbus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.