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Does Trade Cause Growth?

Author

Listed:
  • David H. Romer
  • Jeffrey A. Frankel

Abstract

Examining the correlation between trade and income cannot identify the direction of causation between the two. Countries' geographic characteristics, however, have important effects on trade and are plausibly uncorrelated with other determinants of income. This paper, therefore, constructs measures of the geographic component of countries' trade and uses those measures to obtain instrumental variables estimates of the effect of trade on income. The results provide no evidence that ordinary least-squares estimates overstate the effects of trade. Further, they suggest that trade has a quantitatively large and robust, though only moderately statistically significant, positive effect on income.

Suggested Citation

  • David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:89:y:1999:i:3:p:379-399
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.89.3.379
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Easterly, William, 1993. "How much do distortions affect growth?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 187-212, November.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

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