Labor Market Frictions, Firm Growth and International Trade

I study the aggregate effects of labor market frictions in a small open economy where firms grow slowly and make fixed export investments. The model features interactions between dynamic investments in exporting and search frictions with job-to-job mobility. A calibration to Argentina’s economy matching data on firm growth, worker transitions between firms, and export dynamics suggests that the real income gains from lowering frictions in job-to-job transitions are about 7 times larger than comparable reductions in frictions from unemployment. Barriers to worker mobility across firms matter for the real income gains of trade-cost reductions.

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