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Openness and Growth: The Long Shadow of the Berlin Wall

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  • Claudia M. Buch
  • Farid Toubal

Abstract

The question whether international openness causes higher domestic growth has been subject to intense discussions in the empirical growth literature. This paper addresses this issue using the fall of the Berlin wall in 1990 as a natural experiment. We analyze whether the slow-down in convergence in per capita income between East and West Germany since the mid-1990s and the lower international openness of East Germany are linked. We address the endogeneity of openness by adapting the methodology proposed by Frankel and Romer (1999) in a panel framework. We instrument openness with time-invariant exogenous geographic variables and time-varying exogenous policy variables. We also distinguish different channels of integration. Our paper has three main findings. First, geographic variables have a significant impact on regional openness. Second, controlling for geography, East German states are less integrated into international markets along all dimensions of integration considered. Third, the degree of openness for trade has a positive impact on regional income per capita.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW) in its series IAW Discussion Papers with number 31.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: May 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iaw:iawdip:31

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Keywords: openness; growth; German re-unification;

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  1. Harald Uhlig, 2007. "Regional Labor Markets, Network Externalities and Migration: The Case of German Reunification," Kiel Working Papers 1311, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  2. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
  3. Peter Blair Henry, 2006. "Capital account liberalization: theory, evidence, and speculation," Working Paper Series 2007-32, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  4. Ha Yan Lee & Luca Antonio Ricci & Roberto Rigobon, 2004. "Once Again, is Openness Good for Growth?," NBER Working Papers 10749, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2003. "Institutions, trade, and growth : revisiting the evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3004, The World Bank.
  6. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2000. "Germany's Economic Unification. An Assessment after Ten Years," CESifo Working Paper Series 247, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Stephen Redding & Daniel Sturm, 2006. "The Costs of Remoteness: Evidence from German Division and Reunification," 2006 Meeting Papers 283, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
  9. Burda, Michael C. & Fuchs-Schündeln, Nikola & Buch, Claudia M. & Sinn, Hans-Werner, 2006. "Factor reallocation in eastern Germany after reunification," Munich Reprints in Economics 19974, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  10. Subramanian, Arvind & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2007. "The WTO promotes trade, strongly but unevenly," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 151-175, May.
  11. Francisco Rodriguez, 2007. "Openness and growth: what have we learned?," Working Papers 51, United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs.
  12. Holger Görg & David Greenaway, 2004. "Much Ado about Nothing? Do Domestic Firms Really Benefit from Foreign Direct Investment?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 19(2), pages 171-197.
  13. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
  14. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2003. "Institutions, trade, and growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 133-162, January.
  15. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
  16. Richard Baldwin & Daria Taglioni, 2006. "Gravity for Dummies and Dummies for Gravity Equations," NBER Working Papers 12516, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Rodríguez, Francisco & Rodrik, Dani, 1999. "Trade Policy and Economic Growth: A Sceptic's Guide to the Cross-National Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2143, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. McCallum, John, 1995. "National Borders Matter: Canada-U.S. Regional Trade Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 615-23, June.
  19. Robert E. Baldwin, 2003. "Openness and Growth: What's the Empirical Relationship?," NBER Working Papers 9578, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Michael C. Burda, 2006. "Factor Reallocation in Eastern Germany after Reunification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 368-374, May.
  21. Lutz Schneider, 2005. "Ost-West-Binnenwanderung: Gravierender Verlust an Humankapital," Wirtschaft im Wandel, Halle Institute for Economic Research, vol. 11(10), pages 308-314.
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