The Impact of Trade Liberalization on Micro Enterprises: Do Banks Matter? Evidence from Indian Manufacturing
Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics
School of Economics, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, Cape Town, South Africa
This paper looks at the impact of trade liberalization on micro enterprises with differential access to banks. I use Indian data on rural micro enterprises employing less than ten workers in the manufacturing sector to find that trade liberalization, measured by a fall in the tariff, is associated with a larger increase or a smaller decrease in output, capital-labour ratio and labour productivity in districts with a larger number of bank branches per capita. Evidence is consistent with strong complementarities between trade liberalization effects, and the economic dynamism and access to financial intermediation associated with greater bank presence in the enterprise's location. The study underscores that trade liberalization can be beneficial to micro entrepreneurs under certain conditions and emphasizes reallocation resulting from trade liberalization. The study hence highlights the role for development policy in exploiting gains from trade. © 2015 The Department of Economics, University of Oxford and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.