IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Does openness lead to sustained economic growth? Export growth versus other variables as determinants of economic growth


  • Sanika Sulochani Ramanayake
  • Keun Lee


This research revisits the issue of economic growth determinants in developing countries with a focus on international integration variables. Four alternative variables are tested, namely, export growth, trade openness, export diversification, and foreign direct investment (FDI), in a single framework. This study finds that export growth is the most robust, in addition to export specialization, and that traditional variables of trade openness and FDI are not robust. This result is based on the econometric estimations that use not only cross-section and fixed-effect panel estimations but also system generalized method of moments estimations. The findings warn against the traditional emphasis on simple trade openness and FDI as policy prescriptions for developing countries. In other words, simply opening an economy for international integration does not guarantee sustained economic growth unless these actions lead to export growth, which requires capability building in indigenous firms and investments in innovations. This observation is consistent with the experiences of successful economies in Asia, such as Korea, Taiwan, and China.

Suggested Citation

  • Sanika Sulochani Ramanayake & Keun Lee, 2015. "Does openness lead to sustained economic growth? Export growth versus other variables as determinants of economic growth," Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 345-368, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rjapxx:v:20:y:2015:i:3:p:345-368
    DOI: 10.1080/13547860.2015.1054164

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John Williamson, 1994. "The Political Economy of Policy Reform," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 68.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:rjapxx:v:20:y:2015:i:3:p:345-368. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.