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Trade Structure, FTAs, and Economic Growth


  • Chan-Hyun Sohn
  • Hongshik Lee


What is the relationship between trade and economic growth? Does trade positively affect economic growth? Owing to the ambiguity of this relationship, the empirical relationship has remained open ( Rodriguez and Rodrik, 2001 ; Baldwin, 2003 ). This paper introduces "trade structure" variables, borrowed from the paper of Lederman and Maloney (2003 ), and applies them to the relationship. A dynamic panel estimation for the data of 66 countries during 1991-2004 is used to verify the validity and robustness of the relationship. Trade structure variables show strong evidence of positive effects on growth. Free-trade agreements/areas (FTAs) also enhance economic growth. East Asia shows a different relationship between trade and growth than the world and reflects a weaker role of FTAs in its growth. Copyright (C) 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Chan-Hyun Sohn & Hongshik Lee, 2010. "Trade Structure, FTAs, and Economic Growth," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(s1), pages 683-698, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:rdevec:v:14:y:2010:i:s1:p:683-698

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Horn, Henrik & Levinsohn, James, 2001. "Merger Policies and Trade Liberalisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 244-276, April.
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    3. Farrell, Joseph & Shapiro, Carl, 1990. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 107-126, March.
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    5. Stephen W. Salant & Sheldon Switzer & Robert J. Reynolds, 1983. "Losses From Horizontal Merger: The Effects of an Exogenous Change in Industry Structure on Cournot-Nash Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(2), pages 185-199.
    6. Barros, Pedro P. & Cabral, Luis, 1994. "Merger policy in open economies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 1041-1055, May.
    7. Perry, Martin K & Porter, Robert H, 1985. "Oligopoly and the Incentive for Horizontal Merger," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 219-227, March.
    8. Rod Falvey, 1998. "Mergers in Open Economies," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(8), pages 1061-1076, November.
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