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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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File URL: http://www.iaw.edu/RePEc/iaw/pdf/iaw_dp_31.pdf
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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. Stephen Redding & Daniel M. Sturm, 2005. "The costs of remoteness: evidence from German division and reunification," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51613, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Francisco Rodriguez & Dani Rodrik, 2001. "Trade Policy and Economic Growth: A Skeptic's Guide to the Cross-National Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 261-338 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
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  13. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2000. "Germany's Economic Unification. An Assessment after Ten Years," CESifo Working Paper Series 247, CESifo Group Munich.
  14. Harald Uhlig, 2006. "Regional Labor Markets, Network Externalities and Migration: The Case of German Reunification," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2006-004, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  15. 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.
  16. Lutz Schneider, 2005. "Ost-West-Binnenwanderung: Gravierender Verlust an Humankapital," Wirtschaft im Wandel, Halle Institute for Economic Research, vol. 11(10), pages 308-314.
  17. Robert E. Baldwin, 2004. "Openness and Growth: What’s the Empirical Relationship?," NBER Chapters, in: Challenges to Globalization: Analyzing the Economics, pages 499-526 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2003. "Institutions, trade, and growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 133-162, January.
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