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

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  • Jørn Rattsø
  • Hildegunn E. Stokke

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Jørn Rattsø & Hildegunn E. Stokke, 2009. "Trade barriers to growth in South Africa: Endogenous investment-productivity-trade interaction," DEGIT Conference Papers c014_010, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  • Handle: RePEc:deg:conpap:c014_010
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    File URL: http://degit.sam.sdu.dk/papers/degit_14/c014_010.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Rattsø, Jørn & Stokke, Hildegunn, 2009. "Wage inequality, comparative advantage and skill biased technical change in South Africa," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Frankfurt a.M. 2009 34, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Calibrated growth model; Innovation and Adoption; The world frontier; Openness index; South Africa.;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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