Finance and Development: A Tale of Two Sectors

41 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2009 Last revised: 2 Jun 2009

See all articles by Francisco J. Buera

Francisco J. Buera

Washington University in St. Louis; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Joseph P. Kaboski

Ohio State University (OSU) - Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); University of Notre Dame - Department of Economics

Yongseok Shin

Washington University in St. Louis - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Date Written: April 2009

Abstract

Income differences across countries primarily reflect differences in total factor productivity (TFP). More disaggregated data show that the TFP gap between rich and poor countries varies systematically across industrial sectors of the economy: Poor countries are particularly unproductive in tradable and investment goods sectors. In this paper, we develop a quantitatively-oriented framework to explain such cross-country patterns in aggregate and sectoral TFP. We start by documenting that an important distinction between sectors is their average establishment size. For example, establishments in tradable and investment goods sectors operate at much larger scales than those in the non-tradable sector. In our model, sectors with larger scales of operation have more financing needs, and are hence disproportionately affected by financial frictions. Our quantitative exercises show that financial frictions account for a substantial part of the observed cross-country patterns in TFP, both at the aggregate and at the sectoral level. Our model also has novel implications for the impact of financial frictions on the relative scale between the tradable and the non-tradable sectors, which are shown to be consistent with the data.

Suggested Citation

Buera, Francisco J. and Kaboski, Joseph P. and Shin, Yongseok, Finance and Development: A Tale of Two Sectors (April 2009). NBER Working Paper No. w14914. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1394821

Francisco J. Buera (Contact Author)

Washington University in St. Louis ( email )

One Brookings Drive
Campus Box 1208
Saint Louis, MO MO 63130-4899
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
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Joseph P. Kaboski

Ohio State University (OSU) - Economics ( email )

410 Arps Hall
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Columbus, OH 43210-1172
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

University of Notre Dame - Department of Economics ( email )

Notre Dame, IN 46556
United States

Yongseok Shin

Washington University in St. Louis - Department of Economics ( email )

One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis ( email )

P.O. Box 442
St. Louis, MO 63166-0442
United States

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