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Does free trade really reduce growth? Further testing using the economic freedom index

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While studies of the relationship between economic freedom and economic growth have shown it to be positive, significant and robust, it has rightly been argued that different areas of economic freedom may have quite different effects on growth. Along that line, Carlsson and Lundström (2002) present the surprising result that “International exchange: Freedom to trade with foreigners” is detrimental for growth. We find that “Taxes on international trade” seems to drive this result. However, using newer data and a more extensive sensitivity analysis, we find that it is not robust. Least Trimmed Squares-based estimation in fact renders the coefficient positive.

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  • Berggren, Niclas & Jordahl, Henrik, 2003. "Does free trade really reduce growth? Further testing using the economic freedom index," Ratio Working Papers 25, The Ratio Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ratioi:0025
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    free trade; economic freedom; economic growth;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • O24 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Trade Policy; Factor Movement; Foreign Exchange Policy
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • P17 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Performance and Prospects

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