IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Trade barriers to growth in South Africa: Endogenous investment-productivity-trade interaction

  • Jørn Rattsø
  • Hildegunn E. Stokke

The relationship between foreign trade openness and growth is a challenge for economic analysis. Econometric approaches struggle with endogeneity of foreign trade and trade policy and endogenous interaction between investment and productivity. We offer an alternative route to identification and quantification of channels of effects based on calibration of a Ramsey growth model. The model is designed to reproduce the changing openness in South Africa 1960-2005. Productivity growth is assumed generated by innovation and adoption, and trade openness affects international productivity spillovers and catching up to the world technology frontier. International sanctions and protectionism are represented by a calibrated tariff equivalent, and the counterfactual elimination of the tariff equivalent shows large potential for GDP growth. According to our preferred parameterization increased trade share by 10% points raises GDP level over time by about 15%. Separating the effects of openness between investment and productivity we find that about 2/3 of the increase in GDP is due to increased productivity, working either directly or indirectly via investment profitability.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade in its series DEGIT Conference Papers with number c014_010.

in new window

Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:deg:conpap:c014_010
Contact details of provider: Postal: Niels Bohrs Vej 9, 6700 Esbjerg
Phone: +45 6550 2233
Fax: +45 6550 1090
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 2007. "Trade and the Diffusion of the Industrial Revolution," NBER Working Papers 13286, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Pritchett, Lant, 2000. "Understanding Patterns of Economic Growth: Searching for Hills among Plateaus, Mountains, and Plains," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(2), pages 221-50, May.
  3. Philippe Aghion & Johannes Fedderke & Peter Howitt & Chandana Kularatne & Nicola Viegi, 2008. "Testing Creative Destruction in an Opening Economy : the Case of the South African Manufacturing Inudstries," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2008-23, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  4. Liwa Rachel Ngai, 2000. "Barriers and the Transition to Modern Growth," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1578, Econometric Society.
  5. Jørn Rattsø & Torfinn Harding, 2009. "Industrial labor productivities and tariffs in South Africa: Identification based on multilateral liberalization reform," Working Paper Series 10309, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
  6. Janine Aron & John Muellbauer, 2002. "Interest rate effects on output: evidence from a GDP forecasting model for South Africa," CSAE Working Paper Series 2002-04, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  7. Hausmann, Ricardo & Klinger, Bailey, 2006. "South Africa's Export Predicament," Working Paper Series rwp06-040, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  8. Rodrik, Dani, 2006. "Understanding South Africa's Economic Puzzles," CEPR Discussion Papers 5907, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Hildegunn Stokke, 2004. "Technology adoption and multiple growth paths: An intertemporal general equilibrium analysis of the catch-up process in Thailand," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 140(1), pages 80-109, March.
  10. Diego Restuccia, 2002. "Barriers to Capital Accumulation and Aggregate Total Factor Productivity," Working Papers diegor-02-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  11. Charles R. Hulten & Edwin R. Dean & Michael J. Harper, 2001. "New Developments in Productivity Analysis," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number hult01-1, December.
  12. University of Iowa & Michael E. Waugh, 2007. "International Trade and Income Differences," 2007 Meeting Papers 492, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  13. Vandenbussche, Jérôme & Aghion, Philippe & Meghir, Costas, 2006. "Growth, distance to frontier and composition of human capital," Scholarly Articles 12490648, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  14. Benhabib, Jess & Spiegel, Mark M., 2005. "Human Capital and Technology Diffusion," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 13, pages 935-966 Elsevier.
  15. Rachel Griffith & Stephen Redding & John Van Reenen, 2000. "Mapping the two faces of R&D: productivity growth in a panel of OECD industries," IFS Working Papers W00/02, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  16. Philippe Aghion & Matias Braun & Johannes Fedderke, 2008. "Competition and productivity growth in South Africa," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 16(4), pages 741-768, October.
  17. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew M. Warner, 1995. "Economic Convergence and Economic Policies," NBER Working Papers 5039, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Jérôme Vandenbussche & Philippe Aghion & Costas Meghir, 2006. "Growth, distance to frontier and composition of human capital," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 97-127, June.
  19. Johannes Fedderke, 2005. "Technology, Human Capital and Growth," Working Papers 27, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  20. Caselli, Francesco & Coleman II, Wilbur John, 2000. "The World Technology Frontier," CEPR Discussion Papers 2584, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  21. Cameron, Gavin & Proudman, James & Redding, Stephen, 2005. "Technological convergence, R&D, trade and productivity growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 775-807, April.
  22. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 1997. "The poverty of nations: a quantitative exploration," Staff Report 204, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  23. repec:oup:qjecon:v:119:y:2004:i:2:p:612-645 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Gavin Cameron, 2000. "The Sun Also Rises: Productivity Convergence Between Japan and the USA," Economics Series Working Papers 45, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  25. Lawrence Edwards & Robert Z. Lawrence, 2006. "South African Trade Policy Matters: Trade Performance and Trade Policy," NBER Working Papers 12760, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Diao, Xinshen & Rattso, Jorn & Stokke, Hildegunn Ekroll, 2005. "International spillovers, productivity growth and openness in Thailand: an intertemporal general equilibrium analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 429-450, April.
  27. Hertel, Thomas & David Hummels & Maros Ivanic & Roman Keeney, 2003. "How Confident Can We Be in CGE-Based Assessments of Free Trade Agreements?," GTAP Working Papers 1324, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
  28. Abdelhak S. Senhadji & Claudio E. Montenegro, 1999. "Time Series Analysis of Export Demand Equations: A Cross-Country Analysis," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 46(3), pages 2.
  29. Pedro Cavalcanti Ferreira & Alberto Trejos, 2006. "On The Output Effects Of Barriers To Trade," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1319-1340, November.
  30. Par Hansson & Magnus Henrekson, 1994. "What makes a country socially capable of catching up?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 130(4), pages 760-783, December.
  31. Diao, Xinshen & Rattso, Jorn & Stokke, Hildegunn E., 2006. "Learning by exporting and structural change: A Ramsey growth model of Thailand," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 293-306, April.
  32. Benhabib, Jess & Spiegel, Mark M., 1994. "The role of human capital in economic development evidence from aggregate cross-country data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 143-173, October.
  33. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
  34. Parente, Stephen L & Prescott, Edward C, 1994. "Barriers to Technology Adoption and Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 298-321, April.
  35. John Romalis, 2007. "Market Access, Openness and Growth," NBER Working Papers 13048, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  36. Margarida Duarte & Diego Restuccia, 2006. "The Structural Transformation and Aggregate Productivity in Portugal," Working Papers tecipa-261, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  37. Daron Acemoglu & Jaume Ventura, 2002. "The World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 659-694.
  38. Howitt, Peter & Aghion, Philippe, 2006. "Appropriate Growth Policy: A Unifying Framework," Scholarly Articles 4554121, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  39. Jørn Rattsø & Hildegunn e. Stokke, 2007. "A Growth Model For South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 75(4), pages 616-630, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:deg:conpap:c014_010. 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: (Jan Pedersen)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.