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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. 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.
  2. Oded Galor & Andrew Mountford, 2006. "Trade and the Great Divergence: The Family Connection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 299-303, May.
  3. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
  4. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
  5. François Bourguignon & Thierry Verdier, 2001. "The Political Economy of Education and Development in an Open Economy," DELTA Working Papers 2001-11, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  6. Paolo Epifani & Gino Gancia, 2005. "Openness, government size and the terms of trade," Economics Working Papers 915, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jan 2008.
  7. Epifani, Paolo & Gancia, Gino A, 2007. "On Globalization and the Growth of Governments," CEPR Discussion Papers 6065, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Andrei A. Levchenko, 2004. "Institutional Quality and International Trade," IMF Working Papers 04/231, International Monetary Fund.
  9. 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.
  10. Verdier, Thierry, 2004. "Socially Responsible Trade Integration: A Political Economy Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 4699, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. 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.
  12. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
  13. Romain Wacziarg & Karen Horn Welch, 2008. "Trade Liberalization and Growth: New Evidence," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 22(2), pages 187-231, June.
  14. Bourguignon, F. & Verdier, T., 1999. "Is Financial Openness bad for Education? A Political Economy Perspective on Development," DELTA Working Papers 1999-20, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  15. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Trade Policy and Economic Performance in Sub-Saharan Africa," NBER Working Papers 6562, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Ruben Segura-Cayuela, 2006. "Inefficient Policies, Inefficient Institutions and Trade," 2006 Meeting Papers 502, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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