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Tourism and Economic Growth in Latin American Countries: A Panel Data Approach

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  • Juan Luis Eugenio-Martín

    (Christel DeHaan Tourism and Travel Research Institute, University of Nottingham)

  • Noelia Martín Morales

    (Departamento de Análisis Económico Aplicado, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria)

  • Riccardo Scarpa

    (Environment Department, University of York)

Abstract

We consider the relationship between tourism and economic growth for Latin American countries since 1985 until 1998. The analysis proposed is based on a panel data approach and the Arellano-Bond estimator for dynamic panels. We obtain estimates of the relationship between economic growth and growth in tourists per capita conditional on main macroeconomic variables. We show that the tourism sector is adequate for the economic growth of medium or low-income countries, though not necessarily for developed countries. We then invert the causality direction of the analysis. Rather than explaining economic growth, we try to explain tourism arrivals conditional on GDP and other covariates such as safety, prices and education level, and investment in infrastructures. We employ a generalised least squares AR(1) panel data model. The results provide evidence that low-income countries seem to need adequate levels of infrastructures, education and development to attract tourists. Medium-income countries need high levels of social development like health services and high GDP per capita levels. Finally, the results disclose that price of the destination, in terms of exchange rate and PPP is irrelevant for tourism growth.

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Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2004.26.

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Date of creation: Feb 2004
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2004.26

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Keywords: Tourism; Economic growth; Panel data;

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  1. Andreas Papatheodorou, 1999. "The demand for international tourism in the Mediterranean region," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(5), pages 619-630.
  2. Robert J. Barro, 1989. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 3120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Kulendran, N. & King, Maxwell L., 1997. "Forecasting international quarterly tourist flows using error-correction and time-series models," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 319-327, September.
  4. Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Weil, David N, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-37, May.
  5. Lisa C. Chase & David R. Lee & William D. Schulze & Deborah J. Anderson, 1998. "Ecotourism Demand and Differential Pricing of National Park Access in Costa Rica," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 74(4), pages 466-482.
  6. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  7. Rugg, Donald, 1973. "The Choice of Journey Destination: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 55(1), pages 64-72, February.
  8. Brännäs, Kurt & Hellström, Jörgen & Nordström, Jonas, 1999. "A New Approach to Modelling and Forecasting Monthly Guest Nights in Hotels," UmeÃ¥ Economic Studies 503, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
  9. Barro, Robert J, 2000. " Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
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