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Measuring outward orientation in developing countries : can it be done?

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  • Pritchett, Lant

Abstract

The pressure for trade reform as an integral component of adjustment programs has intensified the ongoing debate about the benefits of trade liberalization of trade regimes in the less developed countries (LDCs). This heightened interest has in turn generated continued empirical study of the relationship between economic performance and trade policy orientation. One branch of this overall policy-performance literature uses cross-country regressions relating economic performance and a measure of policy"outward orientation"or"openness"to investigate this relationship. This paper attempts to move the debate on the empirical cross-country relationship between trade policy and economic performance backwards one step by asking the question, can the economists'intuitive notion of outwardly oriented policy captured empirically? It reviews some principles of the measurement of trade barriers and examines the relationship between four types of empirical measures of outward orientation across countries, including: (a) the share of trade in GDP; (b) the average tariff and coverage ratio of non-tariffbarriers; (c) measures of the deviation of countries'actual trade pattern from the pattern predicted from a model of resource based comparative advantage; and (d) a measure of real price distortions. The paper also discusses the interpretation and implications of the lack of association between the various measures.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 566.

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Date of creation: 31 Jan 1991
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:566

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Keywords: Economic Theory&Research; Environmental Economics&Policies; Trade Policy; Common Carriers Industry; TF054105-DONOR FUNDED OPERATION ADMINISTRATION FEE INCOME AND EXPENSE ACCOUNT;

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Cited by:
  1. Chandran, V.G.R. & Munusamy, 2009. "Trade openness and manufacturing growth in Malaysia," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 637-647, September.
  2. Charles Ackah, & Oliver Morrissey, . "Trade Liberalisation is Good for You if You are Rich," Discussion Papers 07/01, University of Nottingham, CREDIT.
  3. Baek, Jungho & Cho, Yongsung & Koo, Won W., 2008. "The Environmental Consequences of Globalization: A Country-Specific Time Series Analysis," Agribusiness & Applied Economics Report 37342, North Dakota State University, Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics.
  4. Harrison, Ann, 1991. "Openness and growth : a time series, cross-country analysis for developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 809, The World Bank.
  5. Kala Krishna & Ataman Ozyildirim & Norman R. Swanson, 1998. "Trade, Investment, and Growth: Nexus, Analysis, and Prognosis," NBER Working Papers 6861, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Krishna, Kala, 2009. "Background Paper on the IMF's Trade Restrictiveness Index," MPRA Paper 21316, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Matin, Kazi M., 1992. "Openness and economic performance in sub-Saharan Africa : evidence from time-series cross-country analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1025, The World Bank.
  8. Judith Dean, 1995. "From protectionism to free trade fever? Recent reforms in developing countries," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 369-385, October.
  9. Haddad, Mona, 1993. "How trade liberalization affected productivity in Morocco," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1096, The World Bank.
  10. De Lombaerde, Philippe A.A., 2009. "On the dynamic measurement of economic openness," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 731-736, September.
  11. Jeffrey R. Bernstein & David E. Weinstein, 1998. "Do Endowments Predict the Location of Production? Evidence from National and International Data," NBER Working Papers 6815, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Assaf Razin & Andrew Rose, 1992. "Business Cycle Volatility and Openness: An Exploratory Cross-Section Analysis," NBER Working Papers 4208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Banerji, Arup & Ghanem, Hafez, 1995. "Political regimes, trade, and labor policies in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1521, The World Bank.
  14. Ann Harrison & Ana Revenga, 1995. "The Effects of Trade Policy Reform: What Do We Really Know?," NBER Working Papers 5225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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