Iacovone, Leonardo

Global Practice on Trade and Competitiveness, The World Bank
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Global Practice on Trade and Competitiveness, The World Bank
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Last updated January 31, 2023
Citations 182 Scopus

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    Multi-product Exporters: Product Churning, Uncertainty and Export Discoveries
    ( 2010) Iacovone, Leonardo ; Javorcik, Beata S.
    Recent research on international trade focuses on firm-product-level heterogeneity and the role of uncertainty in shaping international trade. This article contributes to the literature by examining product-level dynamics within firms in the context of Mexican trade integration under NAFTA. The data show intense product churning within firms and confirm the existence of within-firm product heterogeneity. The data indicate that new exporters enter foreign markets with a small number of varieties, most of which were previously sold at home, and with a small export small volume. The data also suggest that export discoveries are relatively rare and are imitated within a short period of time.
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    Catching Up with the Technological Frontier: Micro-level Evidence on Growth and Convergence
    ( 2010) Iacovone, Leonardo ; Crespi, Gustavo A.
    In this article, we study how firm heterogeneity influences productivity catching up using plant-level data from Mexico. The article addresses three issues: first, it evaluates the process of convergence towards the global versus the local technological frontier in a middle-income country such as Mexico. Second, it systematically evaluates the role of technological efforts in determining the speed of convergence towards each of these technological frontiers. Third, it assesses the role of openness and trade integration in determining the speed of convergence and presents a horse race between integration and technological effort in explaining the determinants of heterogeneity in influencing the process of convergence toward both the domestic and the global technological frontier. Our results suggest that building firm-level technological capabilities is important for catching up with the global frontier. A policy focused on trade alone will facilitate convergence towards the best technological practices available locally, but it will fall short of encouraging convergence with the global frontier.