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Inefficient policies, inefficient institutions and trade

  • Rubén Segura-Cayuela

    ()

    (Banco de España)

Despite the general belief among economists on the growth-enhancing role of international trade and significant trade opening over the past 25 years, the growth performance of many developing economies, especially of those in Latin America and Africa, has been disappointing. While this poor growth performance has many potential causes, in this paper I argue that part of the reason may be related to the interaction between weak institutions and trade. In particular, I construct a model in which trade opening in societies with weak institutions (in particular autocratic and elite-controlled political systems) may lead to worse economic policies. The reason is that general equilibrium price effects of taxation and expropriation in closed economies also hurt the elites, and this puts a natural barrier against inefficient policies. Trade openness removes this barrier and enables groups with political power to exercise this power in more inefficient ways.

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File URL: http://www.bde.es/f/webbde/SES/Secciones/Publicaciones/PublicacionesSeriadas/DocumentosTrabajo/06/Fic/dt0633e.pdf
File Function: First version, December 2006
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Paper provided by Banco de Espa�a in its series Banco de Espa�a Working Papers with number 0633.

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Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bde:wpaper:0633
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  1. Wacziarg, Romain & Welch, Karen Horn, 2003. "Trade Liberalization and Growth: New Evidence," Research Papers 1826, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  2. Epifani, Paolo & Gancia, Gino A, 2007. "On Globalization and the Growth of Governments," CEPR Discussion Papers 6065, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  4. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Paolo Epifani & Gino Gancia, 2008. "Openness, Government Size and the Terms of Trade," IEW - Working Papers 359, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  6. Do, Quy-Toan & Levchenko, Andrei A., 2009. "Trade, inequality, and the political economy of institutions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(4), pages 1489-1520, July.
  7. Bourguignon, François & Verdier, Thierry, 2001. "The Political Economy of Education and Development in an Open Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 3075, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Verdier, Thierry, 2004. "Socially Responsible Trade Integration: A Political Economy Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 4699, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Oded_Galor & Andrew Mountford, 2006. "Trade and the Great Divergence: The Family Connection," Working Papers 2006-01, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  11. Andrei A. Levchenko, 2007. "Institutional Quality and International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 791-819.
  12. Jeffrey Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Progress of Global Integration," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1733, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  13. Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1993. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth," Papers 537, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  14. Bourguignon, Francois & Verdier, Thierry, 2000. "Is financial openness bad for education? A political economy perspective on development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 891-903, May.
  15. Ruben Segura-Cayuela, 2006. "Inefficient Policies, Inefficient Institutions and Trade," 2006 Meeting Papers 502, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  16. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Trade Policy and Economic Performance in Sub-Saharan Africa," NBER Working Papers 6562, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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