Positive and Negative Effects of Financial Development on Export Prices
32 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2015 Last revised: 4 Feb 2016
Date Written: October 1, 2015
We present a model of international trade in which credit constrained firms endogenously choose quality and countries differ in their level of financial development. This model produces a novel result where the total effect of financial development on export prices exhibits a U-shaped relationship with the exporter's labor productivity. The effect is positive for countries with the lowest and highest levels of productivity and negative for the countries in the middle. This occurs because financial development has two opposing effects on export prices: it reduces the costs of production while enabling costly quality upgrading. We confirm this pattern using a sample of U.S. imports from all exporters worldwide. This finding suggests that financial development has different implications for countries with different levels of productivity and income.
Keywords: Financial development, Quality, Export prices, Labor productivity
JEL Classification: F10, F14, G20, J24, O14
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