Freund, Caroline

Macroeconomics Trade & Investment
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Last updated January 31, 2023
Caroline Freund is Director of Trade, Regional Integration and Investment Climate. Previously she was a Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.  She has also worked as Chief Economist for the Middle East and North Africa at the World Bank, after working for nearly a decade in the international trade unit of the research department.  Freund began her career in the international finance division of the Federal Reserve Board and spent a year visiting the research department of the IMF.  She has published extensively in academic journals and is the author of Rich People Poor Countries: The Rise of Emerging Market Tycoons and their Mega Firms.  She is a US national and received a PhD in economics from Columbia University.
Citations 232 Scopus

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Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
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    Export Superstars
    (MIT Press, 2015-12) Freund, Caroline ; Pierola, Martha Denisse
    We show that very large firms shape country export patterns. Among 32 countries, the top firm on average accounts for 14% of a country’s total (non-oil) exports, and the top five firms make up 30%. These export superstars are also important in the sectoral distribution of exports. Variation in exports from the top firm in a country explains about one-third of the variation in sectoral exports relative to income across countries, and variation in exports from the top five firms explains nearly half. Revealed comparative advantage in a sector can be created by a single firm.
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    Is 3D Printing a Threat to Global Trade? The Trade Effects You Didn't Hear About
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-09) Freund, Caroline ; Mulabdic, Alen ; Ruta, Michele
    In the mid-2000s, the production of hearing aids shifted almost entirely to 3D printing. Using difference-in-differences and synthetic control methods, this paper examines the effects of this shift on trade flows. The analysis finds that trade increased roughly 60 percent following the introduction of 3D printing. Revealed comparative advantage was reinforced, with exports growing most rapidly for middle- and high-income countries. The analysis also finds that developing countries increased their imports of hearing aids as a result of the innovation, benefitting consumers. As a robustness check, the paper examines 35 products that are partially 3D printed and finds positive and significant effects on trade. The results counter widespread views that 3D printing will shorten supply chains and reduce trade.