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Institutional Quality and the Gains from Trade

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  • Axel Borrmann
  • Matthias Busse
  • Silke Neuhaus

Abstract

While theoretical models suggest that trade is likely to increase productivity and income levels, the empirical evidence is rather mixed. For some countries, trade has a strong impact on growth, whereas for other countries there is no or even a negative linkage. We examine one likely prerequisite for a welfare increasing impact of trade, that is, the role of institutional quality. Using several model specifications, including an instrumental variable approach, we identify those aspects of institutional quality that matter most for the positive linkage between trade and growth. We find that, above all, labour market regulation is the key to reducing trade-related adjustment costs. Market entry regulations, the efficiency of the tax system, the rule of law and government effectiveness do play a role too. In essence, the results demonstrate that countries with low-quality institutions do not benefit from trade. Copyright 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd..

Suggested Citation

  • Axel Borrmann & Matthias Busse & Silke Neuhaus, 2006. "Institutional Quality and the Gains from Trade," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 345-368, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:59:y:2006:i:3:p:345-368
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    Cited by:

    1. Horatiu A. Rus, 2012. "Environmental Depletion, Governance, and Conflict," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 1305-1332, April.
    2. Jung Hur & Backhoon Song, 2007. "What Kinds of Countries Have More Free Trade Partner Countries? - Count Regression Analysis," Trade Working Papers 22002, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    3. Jung Hur & Rasyad A. Parinduri & Yohanes E. Riyanto, 2011. "Cross‐Border M&A Inflows And Quality Of Country Governance: Developing Versus Developed Countries," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(5), pages 638-655, December.
    4. Beverelli, Cosimo & Fiorini, Matteo & Hoekman, Bernard, 2017. "Services trade policy and manufacturing productivity: The role of institutions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 166-182.
    5. Manole, Vlad & Spatareanu, Mariana, 2010. "Trade openness and income -- A re-examination," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 106(1), pages 1-3, January.
    6. Li, Kui-Wai, 2011. "The Optimal Level and Impact of Internal Factors on Growth," MPRA Paper 36419, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Juliane Brach, 2008. "Constraints to Economic Development and Growth in the Middle East and North Africa," GIGA Working Paper Series 85, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
    8. Langbein, Laura & Knack, Stephen, 2008. "The worldwide governance indicators and tautology : causally related separable concepts, indicators of a common cause, or both ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4669, The World Bank.
    9. Silberberger, Magdalene & Königer, Jens, 2016. "Regulation, trade and economic growth," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 308-322.
    10. Yasir Khan & Attiya Yasmin Javid, 2015. "The Impact of Formal and Informal Institutions on Economic Performance: A Cross-Country Analysis," PIDE-Working Papers 2015:130, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
    11. Kim, Dong-Hyeon & Lin, Shu-Chin & Suen, Yu-Bo, 2013. "Investment, trade openness and foreign direct investment: Social capability matters," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 56-69.
    12. Koopmann, Georg & Hoekstra, Ruth, 2010. "Aid for trade and the political economy of trade liberalization," HWWI Research Papers 2-22, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
    13. Herzer, Dierk, 2013. "Cross-Country Heterogeneity and the Trade-Income Relationship," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 194-211.
    14. Königer, Jens & Busse, Matthias & Koopmann, Georg, 2010. "Premises of Aid for Trade," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Hannover 2010 13, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    15. Martínez-Zarzoso, Inmaculada & Doyle, Eleanor, 2007. "Trade, Productivity and Institutional Quality: Issues and Empirics," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Göttingen 2007 21, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    16. repec:agr:journl:v:3(612):y:2017:i:3(612):p:19-28 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Yago, Milton & Morgan, Wyn, 2008. "The impact of policy reversal on economic performance in Sub-Saharan Africa," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 88-106, March.
    18. Christian Volpe Martincus & Andrés Gallo, 2009. "Institutions and Export Specialization: Just Direct Effects?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(1), pages 129-149, February.
    19. Herzer, Dierk, 2014. "The long-run relationship between trade and population health: evidence from five decades," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100441, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    20. Horatiu Rus, 2014. "Corruption, conflict and the management of natural resources," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 355-386, November.
    21. Gries, Thomas & Kraft, Manfred & Meierrieks, Daniel, 2009. "Linkages Between Financial Deepening, Trade Openness, and Economic Development: Causality Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 1849-1860, December.
    22. Jana Votápková & Milan Žák, 2013. "Institutional Efficiency of Selected EU & OECD Countries Using Dea-Like Approach," Prague Economic Papers, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2013(2), pages 206-223.
    23. Christopher J. Coyne & Peter T. Leeson, 2009. "Media as a Mechanism of Institutional Change and Reinforcement," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(1), pages 1-14, February.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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