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Openness and Isolation: the comparative trade performance of the Former Soviet Central Asian countries

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Author Info

  • Arman Mazhikeyev

    (Loughborough University)

  • T.Huw Edwards

    (Loughborough University)

  • Marian Rizov

    (Middlesex University)

Abstract

Previous studies characterize some of the Former Soviet Central Asian countries (CACs) as “more open” (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan) and others as “more isolated” (Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) depending on their trade-over-GDP level. Being an open or isolationist economy has resulted respectively in more or less suitable environment for business and investment. We investigate this by measuring contributions of country-specific properties and networking factors in 185 bilateral CACs trade flows over the period 1995-2011. We find that, even though all CACs’ trade has increased greatly since 1995, for the more open economies (Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan) trade changes are mainly explained by networking (bilateral) factors while for isolationist economies (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan) changes in trade are mostly explained by country-specific properties.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Loughborough University in its series Discussion Paper Series with number 2014_02.

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Date of creation: Feb 2014
Date of revision: Feb 2014
Handle: RePEc:lbo:lbowps:2014_02

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Keywords: Trade performance; gravity models; transition; Central Asia; FSU;

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