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Author:Ruhl, Kim J. 

Working Paper
New exporter dynamics

Models in which heterogeneous plants face sunk export entry costs are standard tools in the international trade literature. How well do these models account for the observed dynamics of new exporters? We document that new exporters initially export small amounts and ? conditional on continuing in the export market ? grow gradually over several years. New exporters are most likely to exit the export market in their first few years. We construct a dynamic discrete choice model of exporting and find that the standard model cannot replicate the behavior of new exporters: New exporters grow too ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 14-10

Journal Article
Modeling great depressions: the depression in Finland in the 1990s

This article is a primer on the great depressions methodology developed by Cole and Ohanian (1999, 2007) and Kehoe and Prescott (2002, 2007). We use growth accounting and simple dynamic general equilibrium models to study the depression that occurred in Finland in the early 1990s. We find that the sharp drop in real GDP over the period 1990?93 was driven by a combination of a drop in total factor productivity (TFP) during 1990?92 and of increases in taxes on labor and consumption and increases in government consumption during 1989?94, which drove down hours worked in Finland. We attempt to ...
Quarterly Review , Volume 31 , Issue Nov , Pages 16-44

Working Paper
Firm Entry and Exit and Aggregate Growth

Applying the Foster, Haltiwanger and Krizan (FHK) (2001) decomposition to plant-level manufacturing data from Chile and Korea, we find that the entry and exit of plants account for a larger fraction of aggregate productivity growth during periods of fast GDP growth. To analyze this relationship, we develop a model of firm entry and exit based on Hopenhayn (1992). When we introduce reforms that reduce entry costs or reduce barriers to technology adoption into a calibrated model, we find that the entry and exit terms in the FHK decomposition become more important as GDP grows rapidly, just as ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 411

Report
Sudden stops, sectoral reallocations, and the real exchange rate

A sudden stop of capital flows into a developing country tends to be followed by a rapid switch from trade deficits to surpluses, a depreciation of the real exchange rate, and decreases in output and total factor productivity. Substantial reallocation takes place from the nontraded sector to the traded sector. We construct a multisector growth model, calibrate it to the Mexican economy, and use it to analyze Mexico's 1994?95 crisis. When subjected to a sudden stop, the model accounts for the trade balance reversal and the real exchange rate depreciation, but it cannot account for the ...
Staff Report , Paper 414

Report
Global imbalances and structural change in the United States

Since the early 1990s, as the United States has borrowed from the rest of the world, employment in U.S. goods-producing sectors has fallen. Using a dynamic general equilibrium model, we find that rapid productivity growth in goods production, not U.S. borrowing, has been the most important driver of the decline in goods-sector employment. As the United States repays its debt, its trade balance will reverse, but goods-sector employment will continue to fall. A sudden stop in foreign lending in 2015?2016 would cause a sharp trade balance reversal and painful reallocation across sectors, but ...
Staff Report , Paper 489

Report
Are shocks to the terms of trade shocks to productivity?

International trade is frequently thought of as a production technology in which the inputs are> exports and the outputs are imports. Exports are transformed into imports at the rate of the price> of exports relative to the price of imports: the reciprocal of the terms of trade. Cast this way, a> change in the terms of trade acts as a productivity shock. Or does it? In this paper, we show that> this line of reasoning cannot work in standard models. Starting with a simple model and then> generalizing, we show that changes in the terms of trade have no first-order effect on> productivity when ...
Staff Report , Paper 391

Report
Firm Entry and Exit and Aggregate Growth

Using data from Chile and Korea, we find that a larger fraction of aggregate productivity growth is due to firm entry and exit during fast-growth episodes compared to slow-growth episodes. Studies of other countries confirm this empirical relationship. We develop a model of endogenous firm entry and exit based on Hopenhayn (1992). Firms enter with efficiencies drawn from a distribution whose mean grows over time. After entering, a firm?s efficiency grows with age. In the calibrated model, reducing entry costs or barriers to technology adoption generates the pattern we document in the data. ...
Staff Report , Paper 544

Working Paper
Trade adjustment dynamics and the welfare gains from trade

We build a micro-founded two-country dynamic general equilibrium model in which trade responds more to a cut in tariffs in the long run than in the short run. The model introduces a time element to the fixed-variable cost trade-off in a heterogeneous producer trade model. Thus, the dynamics of aggregate trade adjustment arise from producer-level decisions to invest in lowering their future variable export costs. The model is calibrated to match salient features of new exporter growth and provides a new estimate of the exporting technology. At the micro level, we find that new exporters ...
Working Papers , Paper 14-14

Report
The Interaction and Sequencing of Policy Reforms

In what order should a developing country adopt policy reforms? Do some policies complement each other? Do others substitute for each other? To address these questions, we develop a two-country dynamic general equilibrium model with entry and exit of firms that are monopolistic competitors. Distortions in the model include barriers to entry of firms, barriers to international trade, and barriers to contract enforcement. We find that a reform that reduces one of these distortions has different effects depending on the other distortions present. In particular, reforms to trade barriers and ...
Staff Report , Paper 521

Report
Why have economic reforms in Mexico not generated growth?

Following its opening to trade and foreign investment in the mid-1980s, Mexico?s economic growth has been modest at best, particularly in comparison with that of China. Comparing these countries and reviewing the literature, we conclude that the relation between openness and growth is not a simple one. Using standard trade theory, we find that Mexico has gained from trade, and by some measures, more so than China. We sketch out a theory in which developing countries can grow faster than the United States by reforming. As a country becomes richer, this sort of catch-up becomes more difficult. ...
Staff Report , Paper 453

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