NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Cecile Gaubert

Department of Economics
University of California, Berkeley
687 Evans Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
Tel: 510/643-5397
Fax: 510/642-0822

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NBER Program Affiliations: ITI
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow

NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2018Granular Comparative Advantage
with Oleg Itskhoki: w24807
Large firms play a pivotal role in international trade, shaping the export patterns of countries. We propose and quantify a granular multi-sector model of trade, which combines fundamental comparative advantage across sectors with granular comparative advantage embodied in outstanding individual firms. We develop an SMM-based estimation procedure, which takes full account of the general equilibrium of the model, to jointly estimate these fundamental and granular forces using French micro-data with information on firm domestic and export sales across manufacturing industries. We find that granularity accounts for about 20% of the variation in realized export intensity across sectors, and is more pronounced in the most export-intensive sectors. In turn, idiosyncratic firm dynamics accounts...
May 2018Optimal Spatial Policies, Geography and Sorting
with Pablo Fajgelbaum: w24632
We study optimal spatial policies in quantitative trade and geography frameworks with spillovers and sorting of heterogeneous workers. We characterize the spatial transfers that must hold in efficient allocations, as well as labor subsidies that would implement them. Assuming homogeneous workers and constant-elasticity spillovers, a constant labor tax over space restores efficiency regardless of micro heterogeneity in fundamentals. Place-specific subsidies are needed to attain optimal sorting if there are spillovers across different types of workers. We show how to quantify optimal spatial transfers, and apply the framework to data across U.S. cities using existing estimates of the spillover elasticities. The results suggest that the U.S. economy features too much spatial sorting by skill ...
April 2018Firm Sorting and Agglomeration
w24478
The distribution of firms in space is far from uniform. Some locations host the most productive large firms, while others barely attract any. In this paper, I study the sorting of heterogeneous firms across locations and analyze policies designed to attract firms to particular regions (place-based policies). I first propose a theory of the distribution of heterogeneous firms in a variety of sectors across cities. Aggregate TFP and welfare depend on the extent of agglomeration externalities produced in cities and on how heterogeneous firms sort across them. The distribution of city sizes and the sorting patterns of firms are uniquely determined in equilibrium. This allows me to structurally estimate the model, using French firm-level data. I find that nearly half of the observed productivit...
June 2016Tourism and Economic Development: Evidence from Mexico's Coastline
with Benjamin Faber: w22300
Tourism is a fast-growing services sector in developing countries. This paper combines a rich collection of Mexican microdata with a quantitative spatial equilibrium model and a new empirical strategy to study the long-term economic consequences of tourism both locally and in the aggregate. We find that tourism causes large and significant local economic gains relative to less touristic regions that are in part driven by significant positive spillovers on manufacturing. In the aggregate, however, these local spillovers are largely offset by reductions in agglomeration economies among less touristic regions, so that the national gains from trade in tourism are mainly driven by a classical market integration effect.
 
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