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Work in Progress

Globalizing Highways:
Domestic Roads and Foreign Inputs (Job Market Paper)

This paper investigates the impact of national highway upgrades in India on local firms' access to global markets. Using firm-level data from the manufacturing sector and a spatial instrumental variable approach, I found that upgraded highways facilitated firms' access to imported inputs. The increase in firms' imports is due to more firms importing, and existing importers using a wider variety of imports in their production. The impact of highways on importing depends upon the baseline productivity of firms, the degree of differentiation across their inputs, and their distance from ports. Using a structural model calibrated to the local context, I show the increased use of imported inputs boosted firms' productivity by 1.5% on average. These findings suggest that the impact of highways on importing was primarily driven by a drop in fixed costs related to imported inputs. While the highways decreased spatial disparity in importing across regions, they increased disparity among firms within sectors.

Local or Global:
Financial Constraints and the Expansion Path of Potential Exporters

with Maryam Vaziri

This paper investigates the growth trajectory of potential multiple-product exporters and the impact of firms' initial assets on their decisions to expand into new product markets or into new foreign markets.  First, using a rich dataset of firm-product information of Indian manufacturing sector, we study the expansion of firms into new markets and the relationship between firms' expansion and productivity and initial financial wealth. Next, we develop and structurally estimate a dynamic model in which firms accumulate assets to overcome financial constraints and expand locally and/or export. Analytically, we show that firms with a similar level of productivity but different levels of financial assets have different expansion paths: conditional on firm productivity, there exists an asset threshold below which firms expand in the domestic market and delay exporting. We structurally estimate the model to match the Indian manufacturing sector in 2013-14 and find that removing financing constraints would increase aggregate productivity by 3.8%. 

Vertical Integration and Connectivity

with Marium Ashfaq and Maryam Vaziri

Public versus Private: Differential Responses to a Trade Shock

with Siddharth Sharma

Evolution of Trade with Digitalization: UK’s trade with the EU

Impact of Floods on Firm Activity

with Tim Doberman and Azhar Hussain

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