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Abstract

This paper introduces technology choice and credit access constraints in Melitz (2003) model under a dynamic setting to explain the factors that limit the prospects of a firm from availing trade liberalization benefits. Two such constraints which are specifically relevant in a developing country context are firm's access to credit and frontier level technology. The theoretical model confirms that firms face varying levels of credit constraints depending on their initial productivity and small firms are more constrained compared to large firms. Thus credit constrained firms operating below the production frontier may never be able to cross the minimum productivity threshold required to enter and sustain in a foreign market. The empirical evidence of the model is derived by analyzing the firm level data for five Latin American countries. The empirical findings indicate that firms are constrained both in technology adoption and the extensive margin of trade The study is significant as it focuses on firm level constraints which impact a country's participation in international trade by analyzing both theoretically and empirically the impact of credit constraints on the extensive and intensive margins of trade. An important policy implication of this study, for increasing exports, could be the diversion of public resources from subsidizing production to extending credits to prospective exporters which will ultimately result in directing resources towards more productive sectors of the economy.

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