No Credit, No Gain: Trade Liberalization Dynamics, Production Inputs, and Financial Development
We study the role of financial development on the aggregate and welfare implications of reducing trade barriers on imports of physical capital and intermediate inputs. We document that financially underdeveloped economies feature a slower response of real GDP, consumption, and investment following trade liberalization episodes that improve access to imported production inputs. To quantify the role of financial development, we set up a quantitative general equilibrium model with heterogeneous firms subject to financial constraints and estimate it to match salient features from Colombian ...
Self-Fulfilling Debt Crises, Revisited
We revisit self-fulﬁlling rollover crises by exploring the potential uncertainty introduced by a gap in time (however small) between an auction of new debt and the payment of maturing liabilities. It is well known (Cole and Kehoe, 2000) that the lack of commitment at the time of auction to repayment of imminently maturing debt can generate a run on debt, leading to a failed auction and immediate default. We show that the same lack of commitment leads to a rich set of possible self-fulﬁlling crises, including a government that issues more debt because of the crisis, albeit at depressed ...
How Did China’s COVID-19 Shutdown Affect U.S. Supply Chains?
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on trade between the United States and China so far. As workers became sick or were quarantined, factories temporarily closed, disrupting international supply chains. At the same time, the trade relationship between the United States and China has been characterized by rising protectionism and heightened trade policy uncertainty over the last few years. Against this background, this post examines how the recent period of economic disruptions in China has affected U.S. imports and discusses how this episode might impact firms’ supply chains ...
Trade barriers and the relative price tradables
In this paper I quantitatively address the role of trade barriers in explaining why prices of services relative to tradables are positively correlated with levels of development across countries. I argue that trade barriers play a crucial role in shaping the cross-country pattern of specialization across many heterogenous tradable goods. The pattern of specialization feeds into cross-country productivity differences in the tradables sector and is reflected in the relative price of services. I show that the existing pattern of specialization implies that the tradables-sector productivity gap ...
The dual nature of trade: measuring its impact on imitation and growth
Imports of goods that embody foreign technology raise a country's output directly as inputs into production and indirectly through reverse-engineering of these goods, which contributes to domestic imitation and innovation. This paper first quantifies spillovers from high-technology imports from developed countries to domestic imitation and innovation in both developed and developing countries. It then considers the contribution of foreign and domestic innovation to real per capita GDP growth. ; International patent data for forty countries from 1970 to 1985 are used to create proxies for ...
The Global Diffusion of Ideas
We provide a tractable theory of innovation and technology diffusion to explore the role of international trade in the process of development. We model innovation and diffusion as a process involving the combination of new ideas with insights from other industries or countries. We provide conditions under which each country's equilibrium frontier of knowledge converges to a Frechet distribution, and derive a system of differential equations describing the evolution of the scale parameters of these distributions, i.e., countries' stocks of knowledge. In particular, the growth of a country's ...
Financial Development and International Trade
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 input-output linkages and 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 ...
International Trade of Essential Goods During a Pandemic
This paper studies the role of international trade of essential goods during a pandemic. We consider a multi-country, multi-sector model with essential and non-essential goods. Essential goods provide utility relative to a reference consumption level, and a pandemic consists of an increase in this reference level. Each country produces domestic varieties of both types of goods using capital and labor subject to sectoral adjustment costs, and all varieties are traded internationally subject to trade barriers. We study the role of international trade of essential goods in mitigating or ...
This paper examines the relationship between countries’ bilateral trade with the United States that is not due to gravity (non-gravity trade) and the distribution of income within countries. In countries where only a small share of the population is educated, an increase in non-gravity trade is associated with a significant increase in income inequality. As education of the population increases, the correlation between non-gravity trade and income inequality becomes smaller. Non-gravity trade has no significant effect on income inequality in countries that are world leaders in education.
COVID-19 Has Temporarily Supercharged China’s Export Machine
China’s export performance this year has been stronger than expected. After a sharp slump at the beginning of 2020, the country’s exports have posted positive growth—the only major economy’s to do so. However, a closer look at the data reveals that this growth has not been very broad-based, but rather concentrated in areas where China’s export structure was well-positioned to take advantage of the global crisis—namely, production of medical supplies and school-from-home and work-from-home (S/WFH) goods. Once the COVID-19 crisis passes, China’s exports will likely return to their ...