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Tourism and Development: A Recent Phenomenon Built on Old (Institutional) Roots?

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  • Rinaldo Brau
  • Adriana Di Liberto
  • Francesco Pigliaru

Abstract

Is tourism an opportunity for lagging countries in the elusive quest for growth (Easterly, 2002)? Recent empirical evidence suggests that the answer is a cautious yes. Aggregate cross-country data show that tourism specialization is likely to be associated with higher per capita GDP growth rates than those observed in industrialized countries. However, this evidence ignores the importance of institutional quality and results are likely to be biased by omitted variable problems. In this paper we frame our starting question within the general debate about the importance of good/bad institutions as fundamental determinants of economic growth (Acemoglu et al., 2001) and ask whether previous positive results of tourism on growth are in fact driven by the presence of growth enhancing institutions. Our empirical analysis exploits newly available datasets and controls the robustness of previous results on growth and tourism in the presence of several institutional quality variables. By means of descriptive statistics and some simple cross-country regressions we confirm that the quality of institutions is important for growth. Yet our results strongly suggest that the weight of tourism in an economy is an independent and robust predictor of higher-than-average growth.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal The World Economy.

Volume (Year): 34 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (03)
Pages: 444-472

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Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:34:y:2011:i:3:p:444-472

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References

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  1. Durlauf,S.N. & Johnson,P.A. & Temple,J.R.W., 2004. "Growth econometrics," Working papers 18, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    • Durlauf, Steven N. & Johnson, Paul A. & Temple, Jonathan R.W., 2005. "Growth Econometrics," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 555-677 Elsevier.
  2. Robert C. Feenstra, 1990. "Trade and Uneven Growth," NBER Working Papers 3276, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. H W Armstrong & R Read, . "Trade and Growth in Small States: The Impact of Global Trade Liberalisation," Working Papers ec5/98, Department of Economics, University of Lancaster.
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  9. Easterly, William & Kraay, Aart, 2000. "Small States, Small Problems? Income, Growth, and Volatility in Small States," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 2013-2027, November.
  10. F. Cerina, 2006. "Tourism specialization and environmental sustainability in a dynamic economy," Working Paper CRENoS 200602, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  11. William Easterly, 2002. "The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262550423, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Iza Lej√°rraga & Peter Walkenhorst, 2013. "Economic policy, tourism trade and productive diversification," Economie Internationale, CEPII research center, issue 135-136, pages 1-12.
  2. Angelo Bencivenga & Margaretha Breil & Mariaester Cassinelli & Livio Chiarullo & Annalisa Percoco, 2012. "The Possibilities for the Development of Tourism in the Appennino Lucano Val d'Agri Lagonegrese National Park: A Participative Qualitative-Quantitative Approach," Working Papers 2012.30, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.

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