Trade Liberalization, Economic Growth and Convergence: Evidence From East Asian Economies
In recent years most studies analyzing cross-country convergence have ignored the role of international trade, simply framing the analysis in a Solow world. These models then have very limited power in explaining the economic growth of East Asia, given that East Asian integration is largely due to the market-driven forces, trade induced by foreign direct investment (FDI). This paper investigates the interrelationship between regional integration and economic convergence by linking income convergence to intra-regional trade and FDI. A central focus of the model is on how the degree of market integration driven through trade and FDI interacts with income convergence among the East Asian countries during the period 1960-1996. We shed light on the significance of trade openness, liberalization and regional integration in contributing to cross-country income convergence.
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