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The Local Impact of Containerization
We investigate how containerization impacts local economic activity. Containerization is premised on a simple insight: packaging goods for waterborne trade into a standardized container makes them dramatically cheaper to move. We use a novel cost-shifter instrument -- port depth pre-containerization -- to contend with the non-random adoption of containerization by ports. Container ships sit much deeper in the water than their predecessors, making initially deep ports cheaper to containerize. Consistent with New Economic Geography models, we find that counties near container ports grow an ...
Bank Ownership, Lending, and Local Economic Performance During the 2008-2010 Financial Crisis
While the finance literature often equates government banks with political capture and capital misallocation, these banks can help mitigate financial shocks. This paper examines the role of Brazil?s government banks in preventing a recession during the 2008-2010 financial crisis. Government banks in Brazil provided more credit, which offset declines in lending by private banks. Areas in Brazil with a high share of government banks experienced increases in lending, production, and employment during the crisis compared to areas with a low share of these banks. We find no evidence that lending ...