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Trade openness, growth, and informality: Panel VAR evidence from OECD economies

  • Serdar Birinci

    ()

    (Bogazici University)

This paper analyzes empirically the linkages between trade openness, economic growth, and the size of the informal economy. I employ panel VAR techniques in a quarterly panel data set composed of 12 advanced economies over the period from 1964:1 to 2010:4 allowing bi-directional interaction between the variables in the system in order to address the endogeneity problem. The results provide evidence that there is a positive bi-directional relationship between GDP growth and trade openness. Second, fluctuations of GDP growth are explained by the size of the informal economy, while the impact of GDP growth on the size of the informal economy is not found to be robust with respect to change in VAR order. Moreover, the size of the informal economy affects GDP growth more than openness, and the causality from openness to GDP growth is slightly stronger than the causality from GDP growth to openness. Finally, there is no conclusive, robust evidence regarding the interaction between the size of the informal economy and trade openness.

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Article provided by AccessEcon in its journal Economics Bulletin.

Volume (Year): 33 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 694-705

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Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-13-00032
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  1. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
  2. Kaddour Hadri, 1999. "Testing For Stationarity In Heterogeneous Panel Data," Research Papers 1999_04, University of Liverpool Management School.
  3. Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Nina Pavcnik, 2003. "The Response of the Informal Sector to Trade Liberalization," NBER Working Papers 9443, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Sebastian Edwards, 1997. "Openness, Productivity and Growth: What Do We Really Know?," NBER Working Papers 5978, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. Andreas Buehn & Friedrich Schneider, 2012. "Shadow economies around the world: novel insights, accepted knowledge, and new estimates," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 139-171, February.
  10. Marco Fugazza & Norbert Fiess, 2010. "Trade Liberalization And Informality: New Stylized Facts," UNCTAD Blue Series Papers 43, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
  11. Rodríguez, Francisco & Rodrik, Dani, 1999. "Trade Policy and Economic Growth: A Sceptic's Guide to the Cross-National Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2143, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Yanikkaya, Halit, 2003. "Trade openness and economic growth: a cross-country empirical investigation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 57-89, October.
  13. Im, Kyung So & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Shin, Yongcheol, 2003. "Testing for unit roots in heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 53-74, July.
  14. Love, Inessa & Zicchino, Lea, 2006. "Financial development and dynamic investment behavior: Evidence from panel VAR," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 190-210, May.
  15. Ceyhun Elgin & Oguz Oztunali, 2012. "Shadow Economies around the World: Model Based Estimates," Working Papers 2012/05, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.
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