Working Papers

Antràs, Pol, Stephen Redding, and Esteban Rossi-Hansberg. Working Paper. “Globalization and Pandemics”. Abstract
This paper develops a model of human interaction that provides microfoundations for a gravity equation for international trade and a multi-country Susceptible-Infected-Response (SIR) model of disease dynamics. We study how decreases in technological and man-made barriers to trade and labor mobility affect the rate at which human beings interact at short and long distances, and the consequences of these interactions for trade flows across countries and for welfare. We examine the implications of these changes in cross-border human interactions for the spread, persistence and human toll of epidemics. We consider various versions of our model, including some in which the rate of human interactions responds to the outbreak of a pandemic, through general equilibrium effects from changes in relative labor supplies and through individual behavioral responses to the threat of infection. Global flows of goods and of human beings interact with the spread of a pandemic in a number of subtle ways.
Almunia, Miguel, Pol Antràs, David Lopez-Rodriguez, and Eduardo Morales. 2018. “Venting Out: Exports during a Domestic Slump”. Abstract

We exploit plausibly exogenous geographical variation in the reduction in domestic demand caused by the Great Recession in Spain to document the existence of a robust, within-firm negative causal relationship between demand-driven changes in domestic sales and export flows. Spanish manufacturing firms whose domestic sales were reduced by more during the crisis observed a larger increase in their export flows, even after controlling for firms' supply determinants (such as labor costs). This negative relationship between demand-driven changes in domestic sales and changes in export flows illustrates the capacity of export markets to counteract the negative impact of local demand shocks. We rationalize our findings through a standard heterogeneous-firm model of exporting expanded to allow for non-constant marginal costs of production. Using a structurally estimated version of this model, we conclude that the firm-level responses to the slump in domestic demand in Spain could well have accounted for around one-half of the spectacular increase in Spanish goods exports (the so-called `Spanish export miracle') over the period 2009-13.

This paper characterizes the transitional dynamics of the savings rate in the neoclassical growth model. I start with a general formulation with weak assumptions on preferences and technology and go on to fully describe the transitional behavior of the savings rate under particular functional forms. It is shown that under plausible functional forms for preferences and technology, the model is able to explain the hump-shaped behavior of the savings rate observed in most OECD countries in the period 1950-1990. The paper also provides econometric evidence supporting the empirical relevance of the neoclassical growth model in explaining the dynamics of the savings rate both in OECD countries and in a larger cross-section of countries.