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Financial Frictions and Export Dynamics in Large Devaluations

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 and endogenous export decisions in which firms face financing constraints and debt can be denominated in foreign units. Despite the negative impact of these channels on capital accumulation and output at the firm-level, we find that they only explain a modest fraction of the gradual increase of exports observed in these episodes. Exports increase since financially-constrained exporters are able to reallocate sales across markets. We show analytically the role of this mechanism on exports adjustment and document its importance using plant-level data.

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https://doi.org/10.20955/wp.2017.013