Working Papers

I offer an overview of some key conceptual aspects associated with the rise of global value chains (GVCs). I outline a series of alternative interpretations and definitions of what the rise of GVCs entails, and I trace the implications of these alternative conceptualizations for the measurement of the phenomenon, as well as for elucidating the key determinants and implications of GVC participation, both at the country level and at the firm level. In the process, I offer some speculative thoughts about the future of GVCs in light of the advent of an array of new technologies.
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.