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Why Does Misallocation Persist?

Why Does Misallocation Persist? Abstract Recent papers argue that the misallocation of resources can explain large cross-country TFP differences. This argument is underpinned by empirical evidence documenting substantial dispersion in the marginal products of resources, particularly capital, in developing countries. But why does misallocation persists? That is, why don't distortions disappear on their own? This is particularly true for capital misallocation, a point we illustrate in a simple model of capital accumulation with credit constraints. We distinguish between misallocation on the intensive and the extensive margin, and show that the former should disappear asymptotically under general conditions, while the latter may persist. We conclude by discussing possible theories of persistent misallocation. (JEL D24, E22, G31, G32, L26 ) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics American Economic Association

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Publisher
American Economic Association
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 by the American Economic Association
Subject
Articles
ISSN
1945-7715
eISSN
1945-7715
DOI
10.1257/mac.2.1.189
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract Recent papers argue that the misallocation of resources can explain large cross-country TFP differences. This argument is underpinned by empirical evidence documenting substantial dispersion in the marginal products of resources, particularly capital, in developing countries. But why does misallocation persists? That is, why don't distortions disappear on their own? This is particularly true for capital misallocation, a point we illustrate in a simple model of capital accumulation with credit constraints. We distinguish between misallocation on the intensive and the extensive margin, and show that the former should disappear asymptotically under general conditions, while the latter may persist. We conclude by discussing possible theories of persistent misallocation. (JEL D24, E22, G31, G32, L26 )

Journal

American Economic Journal: MacroeconomicsAmerican Economic Association

Published: Jan 1, 2010

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