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Testing for Trade-Induced Investment-Led Growth


  • Seghezza, Elena

    () (Università di Genova, Facoltà di Scienze Politiche, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Finanziarie)

  • Baldwin, Richard E.

    () (Graduate Institute of International Studies)


This paper estimates a two equation system – an investment equation and a growth equation – that allows trade openness to affect growth directly via its impact on TFP growth, and indirectly via its impact on the investment rate. We find that domestic trade barriers depress investment and thereby growth. This result is robust in that it is present in a variety of samples and for a variety of openness proxies. Foreign trade barriers are also found to depress investment and growth, but the effect is less strong and much less robust to sample and proxy changes. We confirm the robustness of our results by using a series of data samples split according to the capital abundance of nations and the income levels of countries. Moreover, we deal with the Rodriguez-Rodrik critique by using, as our preferred trade proxy, a trade weighted tariff average.

Suggested Citation

  • Seghezza, Elena & Baldwin, Richard E., 2008. "Testing for Trade-Induced Investment-Led Growth," Economia Internazionale / International Economics, Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato Agricoltura di Genova, vol. 61(2-3), pages 507-537.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:ecoint:0036

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brander, James & Krugman, Paul, 1983. "A 'reciprocal dumping' model of international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3-4), pages 313-321, November.
    2. Coe, David T. & Helpman, Elhanan, 1995. "International R&D spillovers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 859-887, May.
    3. J. Bradford De Long & Lawrence H. Summers, 1991. "Equipment Investment and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 445-502.
    4. Harrison, Ann, 1996. "Openness and growth: A time-series, cross-country analysis for developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 419-447, March.
    5. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-443.
    6. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-437.
    7. Jong-Wha Lee, 1993. "International Trade, Distortions, and Long-Run Economic Growth," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 40(2), pages 299-328, June.
    8. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1992. "A Sensitivity Analysis of Cross-Country Growth Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 942-963, September.
    9. Edward E. Leamer, 1988. "Measures of Openness," NBER Chapters,in: Trade Policy Issues and Empirical Analysis, pages 145-204 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Lee, Jong-Wha, 1995. "Capital goods imports and long-run growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 91-110, October.
    11. Edwards, Sebastian, 1993. "Openness, Trade Liberalization, and Growth in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 1358-1393, September.
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    More about this item


    Trade Openness; Investment; Growth;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies


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