This paper studies the industry-level and aggregate implications of financial development on international trade. I set up a multi-industry general equilibrium model of international trade with heterogeneous firms subject to financial frictions. Industries differ in capital-intensity, which leads to differences in external finance dependence. The model is parameterized to match key features of firm-level data. Financial development leads to substantial reallocation of international trade shares from labor- to capital-intensive industries, with minor effects at the aggregate-level. These findings are consistent with estimates from cross-country industry-level and aggregate data.
This paper studies the role of the patterns of production and international trade on the higher business cycle volatility of emerging economies. We study a multi-sector small open economy in which firms produce and trade commodities and manufactures. We estimate the model to match key cross-sectional differences across countries: emerging economies run trade surpluses in commodities
and trade deficits in manufactures, while sectoral trade flows are balanced in developed economies. We find that these differences amplify the response of emerging economies to fluctuations in commodity prices. We show evidence consistent with these findings using cross-country data.
We present a model which considers both regulatory burden of offshoring barriers and possible terms of trade gains from such barriers. Non-tariff barriers are shown to be unambiguously welfare-reducing, and tariff barriers raise welfare only when associated terms-of-trade gains exceed resulting regulatory burdens, in which case there is a positive optimal offshoring tax. Otherwise, free trade is optimal. Welfare reductions from an offshoring tax are more likely with several developed nations engaging in offshoring. We derive and characterize the Nash equilibrium in such a case.
We develop and quantify a multi-country and multi-sector endogenous growth model in which comparative advantage and the stock of knowledge are endogenously determined by innovation and knowledge diffusion. We quantify the effect of trade liberalization on innovation, comparative advantage and welfare in a framework that features intersectoral production and knowledge linkages that are consistent with the data. A reduction in trade frictions induces a reallocation of innovation and comparative advantage across sectors: innovation reallocates towards sectors that experience larger increases in comparative advantage, and comparative advantage reallocates towards sectors with stronger knowledge spillovers. Furthermore, knowledge spillovers amplify the effect of a trade liberalization as countries and sectors benefit from foreign technology. In contrast to standard one sector models of trade and innovation without knowledge spillovers, we find significant dynamic gains from trad e. These gains are mainly driven by innovation and knowledge diffusion across sectors and countries.
Monetary policy research in small open economies has typically focused on “corner solutions”: either the currency rate is fixed by the central bank, or it is left to be determined by market forces. We build an open-economy model with external habits to study the properties of a new class of monetary policy rules in which the monetary authority uses the exchange rate as the instrument. Different from a Taylor rule, the monetary authority announces the rate of expected currency appreciation by taking into account inflation and output fluctuations. We find that the exchange rate rule outperforms a standard Taylor rule in terms of welfare, regardless of the policy parameter values. The differences are driven by: (i) the behavior of the nominal exchange rate and interest rates under each rule, and (ii) deviations from UIP due to a time-varying risk premium.
We use intraday data to estimate the daily foreign exchange exposure of U.S. multinationals and show that macroeconomic news affects these firms’ foreign exchange exposure. News creates a substantial shift in the joint distribution of stock and exchange rate returns that has both a transitory and a persistent component. For example, a positive domestic demand surprise, as reflected in higher-than-expected nonfarm payroll, increases the value of the low-exposure domestic activities and results in a persistent decrease in foreign exchange exposure.
A standard theoretical prediction is that average exports are independent of tariff rates when the underlying distribution of firm productivities is assumed to be the widely-used Pareto distribution. Assuming that the underlying distribution has no upper bound is undoubtedly inaccurate and produces theoretical results at odds with empirical results. In contrast, we show that upper-truncation of the Pareto distribution makes average exports rise with trade liberalization. This result is derived analytically, and is supported by simulations. We extend our analysis to the cases of lognormal and Fréchet distributions, which are also frequently used by trade economists. Our findings for lognormal and Fréchet distributions are qualitatively similar to the findings using the truncated Pareto.
This paper investigates the interplay of trade and terrorism externalities under free trade between a developed nation that exports a manufactured good to and imports a primary product from a developing nation. A terrorist organization targets both nations and reduces its attacks in response to a nation’s defensive counterterrorism efforts, while transferring some of its attacks abroad. Terms-of-trade considerations lead the developed nation to raise its counterterrorism level beyond the “small-country” level, thus compounding its overprovision of these measures. By contrast, the developing nation limits its defensive countermeasures below that of the small-country level. This asymmetry is a novel finding. The analysis is extended to include proactive countermeasures to weaken the terrorist group. Again, the developed country raises its efforts owing to the terms-of-trade externality, which now opposes the underprovision associated with proactive efforts. A sec ond extension allows for several developing-country exporters of the primary product.
We study the role of financial frictions and balance-sheet effects in accounting for the dynamics of aggregate exports in large devaluations. We investigate a small open economy with heterogeneous firms, where firms face financing constraints and debt can be denominated in foreign units. We find that these channels can explain only a small fraction of the dynamics of exports observed in the data. While these frictions distort production and investment decisions, they affect exports significantly less since firms reallocate sales across markets in response to real exchange rate changes. We document the importance of this mechanism using plant-level data.
This study provides evidence of common bivariate jumps (i.e., systematic cojumps) between the market index and style-sorted portfolios. Systematic cojumps are prevalent in book-to-market portfolios and hence, their risk cannot easily be diversified away by investing in growth or value stocks. Nonetheless, large-cap firms have less exposure to systematic cojumps than small-cap firms. Probit regression reveals that systematic cojump occurrences are significantly associated with worse-than-expected scheduled macroeconomic announcements, especially those pertaining to the Federal Funds target rate. Tobit regression shows that Federal Funds news surprises are also significantly related to the magnitude of systematic cojumps.
International trade in capital goods has quantitatively important effects on economic development through capital formation and TFP. Capital goods trade enables poor countries to access more efficient technologies, leading to lower relative prices of capital goods and higher capital-output ratios. Moreover, poor countries can use their comparative advantage and allocate their resources more efficiently, and increase their TFP. We quantify these channels using a multisector, multicountry, Ricardian model of trade with capital accumulation. The model matches several trade and development facts within a unified framework. Frictionless trade in capital goods reduces the income gap between rich and poor countries by 40 percent. More than half of the reduction in the income gap is due to the TFP channel.
This paper quantitatively investigates the extent to which variation in the intertemporal marginal rate of substitution can help account for puzzling features of cyclical fluctuations of international trade volumes. Our insight is that, because international trade is time-intensive, variation in the rate at which agents are willing to substitute across time affects how trade volumes respond to changes in output and prices. We use a standard small open economy model with time-intensive international trade, calibrated to match key features of U.S. data and disciplining the variation in the intertemporal marginal rate of substitution using asset price data. We find that variation in the intertemporal marginal rate of substitution helps rationalize puzzling features of import fluctuations and that this mechanism is quantitatively important during both normal and crisis times.
This paper presents a theoretical model (adapted from the structural gravity model by Anderson and van Wincoop, 2003) to capture the effects of terrorism on air passenger traffic between nations affected by terrorism. We then use equations derived from this model, in conjunction with alternative functional forms for trade costs, to estimate the effects of terrorism on bilateral air passenger flows from 57 source countries to 25 destination countries for the period of 2000 to 2014. We find that an additional terrorist incident results in approximately a 1.2% decrease in the bilateral air passenger transport per unit distance while doubling of the accumulated terrorist incidents during the past 5 years reduces it by 18%. Terrorism adversely impacts the bilateral air passenger transport per unit distance both by reducing national output and especially by increasing psychological distress, which could be an important contributing factor in perceived travel costs. Last but not the least, we show that the responsiveness of international air travel to terrorism critically depends on the nature of the terrorist attacks. Specifically, international air passenger transport is found to be extremely sensitive to fatal terrorist attacks and terrorist attacks of targets such as airports, transportation or tourists.
China is both a major trading partner of the United States and the largest official holder of U.S. assets in the world. The value of Chinese foreign exchange reserves peaked at just over $4 trillion in June 2014, but has since declined to $3.19 trillion as of August 2016. This very large decline is in foreign exchange reserves is unprecedented and some analysts have speculated that continued sales of these (mostly U.S.) assets might significantly impact the U.S. and global economies. This article explains the reasons for this large decline in official assets, what China’s policy choices are, and how these choices could affect the U.S. economy.
Developing countries frequently offer tax incentives and even subsidize the entry and operation of foreign firms. I examine the optimality of such policies in an economy where growth is driven by entrepreneurial know-how, a skill that is continuously updated on the basis of the productive ideas implemented in the country. Openness allows foreign ideas to disseminate inside a country and can foster the country's domestic accumulation of know- how. With externalities, however, laissez-faire openness is suboptimal and can be growth-and even welfare-reducing. I examine the gains from openness under an optimal taxation program the self-funding taxes on domestic and foreign firms that maximize the welfare of the recipient country, subject to the equilibrium behavior of national and foreign firms. Under optimal taxation, openness is always welfare enhancing and leads lagging countries to catch up with the world frontier. Yet, a country may want to subsidize the entry of foreign firms only if it can also subsidize the domestic accumulation of know-how. I also consider the optimal tax program under a number of restrictions that developing countries typically face. For instance, a country must not subsidize entry of foreign firms if doing so requires taxing the concurrent cohort of domestic firms. Similarly, an international agreement that requires equal taxation of domestic and foreign firms can be welfare reducing for a country close to the knowledge frontier.
Does a reduction in offshoring cost benefit workers in the world''s factories in developing countries? Using a parsimonious two-country model of offshoring we find very nuanced results. These include cases where wages monotonically improve, worsen, as well as where wages exhibit an inverted U-shaped relationship with the offshoring cost. We identify qualitative conditions under which these relationships hold. Since global welfare always rises with an improvement in offshoring technology, we find that there is a role for a wage tax or a minimum wage in the developing country. We derive the optimal levels of such policies.
In this paper we derive a new measure of openness—trade potential index—that quantifies the potential gains from trade as a simple function of data. Using a standard multi-country trade model, we measure openness by a country’s potential welfare gain from moving to a world
with frictionless trade. In this model, a country’s trade potential depends on only the trade elasticity and two observable statistics: the country’s home trade share and its income level. Quantitatively, poor countries have greater potential gains from trade relative to rich countries,
while their welfare costs of autarky are similar. This leads us to infer that rich countries are more open to trade. Our trade potential index correlates strongly with estimates of trade costs, while both the welfare cost of autarky and the volume of trade correlate weakly with trade costs. Thus, our measure of openness is informative about the underlying trade frictions.
We present a standard trade model and show that terrorism can be trade inducing, starting from autarky. In addition, terrorism can be shown to be welfare augmenting for a group of nations. Finally, we present some qualitative conditions that identify when a nation’s trade volume may rise (or fall) in response to a greater incidence of terrorism. Our trade and welfare results point to potential difficulties in international coordination of counterterrorism policy because of terrorism’s differential impact across nations.
This paper constructs a model of trade consequences of terrorism, where firms in trading nations face different costs arising from domestic and transnational terrorism. Using dyadic dataset in a gravity model, we test terrorism’s effects on overall trade, exports, and imports, while allowing for disaggregation by primary commodities and manufacturing goods. While terrorism has little or no influence on trade of primary products, terrorism reduces trade of manufactured goods. This novel finding pinpoints the avenue by which terrorism harms trade and suggests why previous studies that looked at all trade found modest impacts. Moreover, the detrimental effect of transnational terrorism on total manufactured trade, exports, and imports as well as on various classes of manufactured trade is substantially larger than that of domestic terrorism. Generally, this adverse impact is more pronounced for imports than for exports.
We provide new empirical evidence of a relationship between asset prices and trade- Induced international R&D spillovers; in particular, we find that pairs of countries that share more research and development exhibit more highly correlated stock market returns and less volatile exchange rates. We develop an endogenous growth model of innovation and international technology diffusion that accounts for these empirical findings. A calibrated version of the model matches several important asset pricing and quantity moments, which helps explain some of the classical quantity–price puzzles highlighted in the literature on international macroeconomics.
Empirical moments of asset prices and exchange rates imply that pricing kernels have to be almost perfectly correlated across countries. If they are not, observed real exchange rates are too smooth to be consistent with high Sharpe ratios in asset markets. However, the cross- country correlation of macro fundamentals is far from perfect. We reconcile these empirical facts in a two-country stochastic growth model with heterogeneous trading technologies for households and a home bias in consumption. In our model, only a small fraction of households actively participate in international risk sharing by frequently trading domestic and foreign equities. These active traders, who induce high cross-country correlation to the pricing kernels, are the marginal investors in foreign exchange markets. In a calibrated version of our model, we show that this mechanism can quantitatively account for the excess smoothness of exchange rates in the presence of highly volatile pricing kernels and weakly correlated macro fundamentals.
Are production factors allocated efficiently across countries? To differentiate misallocation from factor intensity differences, we provide a new methodology to estimate output shares of natural resources based solely on current rent flows data. With this methodology, we construct a new dataset of estimates for the output shares of natural resources for a large panel of countries. In sharp contrast with Caselli and Feyrer (2007), we find a significant and persistent degree of misallocation of physical capital. We also find a remarkable movement toward efficiency during last 35 years, associated with the elimination of interventionist policies and driven by domestic accumulation. Interestingly, when both physical and human capital can be reallocated, capital would often flow from poor to rich countries.
RePEc is an open bibliography project driven entirely by volunteers and without a budget. It was created to enhance the dissemination of research in economics by making it more accessible to authors, publishers, and readers: 1800 publishers participate in this initiative, and 44000 authors are registered. Some of those authors became frustrated when their work was plagiarized and no action was taken. Many have asked whether RePEc could take action. The RePEc Plagiarism Committee was created to respond to this request. Because RePEc has no enforcement power, it can only “name and shame” verified offenders. This essay discusses the experience over the first years of the Committee.
This study proposes and quantitatively assesses a terms-of-trade penalty for defaulting: defaulters must exchange more of their own goods for imports, which causes an adjustment to the equilibrium exchange rate. This penalty can take the place of an ad hoc fall in output: Facing only this penalty and temporary exclusion from debt markets, countries are willing to maintain borrowing obligations up to a realistic level of debt. The terms-of-trade penalty is consistent with the observed relationship between sovereign default and a country's trade flows and prices. The defaulter's currency depreciates while trade volume falls drastically. We demonstrate that a default episode can imply up to a 30% real depreciation, which matches observed crisis events in developing countries.
Consider the following facts. In 1950, the richest countries attained an average of 8 years of schooling whereas the poorest countries 1.3 years, a large 6-fold difference. By 2005, the difference in schooling declined to 2-fold because schooling increased faster in poor than in rich countries. What explains educational attainment differences across countries and their evolution over time? We consider an otherwise standard model of schooling featuring non- homothetic preferences and a labor supply margin to assess the quantitative contribution of productivity and life expectancy in explaining educational attainment. A calibrated version of the model accounts for 90 percent of the difference in schooling levels in 1950 between rich and poor countries and 71 percent of the faster increase in schooling over time in poor relative to rich countries. These results suggest an alternative view of the determinants of low education in developing countries that is based on low productivity.
I develop a structural general equilibrium model and estimate it for New Zealand using Bayesian techniques. The estimated model considers a monetary policy regime where the central bank targets overall inflation but is also concerned about output, exchange rate movements, and interest rate smoothing. Taking the posterior mean of the estimated parameters as representing the characteristics of the New Zealand economy, I compare the consequences that two alternative reaction functions have on the central bank''s loss, for different specifications of its preferences. I obtain conditions under which the monetary authority should respond directly to non-tradable inflation instead of overall inflation. In particular, if preferences are relatively biased towards inflation stabilization, responding directly to overall inflation results in better macroeconomic outcomes. If instead the central bank places relatively more weight on output stabilization, responding directly to non-traded inflation is a better strategy.
Countries that trade more with each other tend to have more correlated business cycles. Yet,
traditional international business cycle models predict a much weaker link between trade and
business cycle comovement. We propose that fluctuations in the number of varieties embedded
in trade flows may drive the observed comovement by increasing the correlation among trading
partners’ total factor productivity (TFP). Our hypothesis is that business cycles should be more
correlated between countries that trade a wider variety of goods. We find empirical support for
this hypothesis. After decomposing trade into its extensive and intensive margins, we find that
the extensive margin explains most of the trade–TFP and trade–output comovement. This result
is striking because the extensive margin accounts for only a fourth of the variability in total trade.
We then develop a two-country model with heterogeneous firms, endogenous entry, and fixed
export costs, in which TFP correlation increases with trade in varieties. A numerical exercise
shows that our proposed mechanism increases business cycle synchronization compared with the
levels predicted by traditional models.
I develop a multicountry-model in which economic growth is driven mainly by domestic
innovation and the adoption of foreign technologies embodied in traded intermediate
goods. Fitting the model to data on innovation, output per capita, and trade in varieties
for the period 1996-2007, I estimate the costs of both domestic innovation and adopting
foreign innovations, and then decompose the sources of economic growth around the world.
I find that the adoption channel has been especially important in developing countries, and
accounts for about 65% of their “embodied” growth. Developed countries grow mainly through
the domestic innovation channel, which explains 85% of their “embodied” growth.
A counterfactual exercise shows that if all countries reached the same research productivity,
then (i) the world’s steady-state growth rate would double, and (ii) developing countries
would close the gap in terms of both growth rate and income per capita.
In this paper, we establish the importance of experience in international trade for reducing trade costs and facilitating bilateral trade. Within an augmented gravity framework, we find that an additional year of experience at the country-pair level reduces trade costs by 2.0% and increases bilateral exports by 8%. The effect of experience is stronger for country-pairs that are more distant, who do not share a common border, and who lack colonial and legal ties. Further, experience raises both the extensive and the intensive margins of trade. In a dynamic trade model with heterogeneous firms and where export-experience reduces trade costs, our empirical results imply that benefits of experience are shared industry-wide and that experience lowers the variable component of trade costs.
This article studies the impact of education and fertility in structural transformation and growth. In the model there are three sectors, agriculture, which uses only low-skill labor, manufacturing, that uses high-skill labor only and services, that uses both. Parents choose optimally the number of children and their skill. Educational policy has two dimensions, it may or may not allow child labor and it subsidizes education expenditures. The model is calibrated to South Korea and Brazil, and is able to reproduce some key stylized facts observed between 1960 and 2005 in these economies, such as the low (high) productivity of services in Brazil (South Korea) which is shown to be a function of human capital and very important in explaining its stagnation (growth) after 1980. We also analyze how different government policies towards education and child labor implemented in these countries affected individuals’ decisions toward education and the growth trajectory of each economy.