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Openness and Growth: The Long Shadow of the Berlin Wall

  • Claudia M. Buch
  • Farid Toubal

The question whether international openness causes higher domestic growth has been subject to intense discussions in the empirical growth literature. This paper addresses this issue using the fall of the Berlin wall in 1990 as a natural experiment. We analyze whether the slow-down in convergence in per capita income between East and West Germany since the mid-1990s and the lower international openness of East Germany are linked. We address the endogeneity of openness by adapting the methodology proposed by Frankel and Romer (1999) in a panel framework. We instrument openness with time-invariant exogenous geographic variables and time-varying exogenous policy variables. We also distinguish different channels of integration. Our paper has three main findings. First, geographic variables have a significant impact on regional openness. Second, controlling for geography, East German states are less integrated into international markets along all dimensions of integration considered. Third, the degree of openness for trade has a positive impact on regional income per capita.

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File URL: http://www.iaw.edu/RePEc/iaw/pdf/iaw_dp_31.pdf
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Paper provided by Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW) in its series IAW Discussion Papers with number 31.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: May 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iaw:iawdip:31
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  1. Baldwin, Richard & Taglioni, Daria, 2006. "Gravity for Dummies and Dummies for Gravity Equations," CEPR Discussion Papers 5850, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Robert E. Baldwin, 2004. "Openness and Growth: What's the Empirical Relationship?," NBER Chapters, in: Challenges to Globalization: Analyzing the Economics, pages 499-526 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. Francisco Rodriguez & Dani Rodrik, 2001. "Trade Policy and Economic Growth: A Skeptic's Guide to the Cross-National Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 261-338 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  14. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2003. "Institutions, trade, and growth : revisiting the evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3004, The World Bank.
  15. Lutz Schneider, 2005. "Ost-West-Binnenwanderung: Gravierender Verlust an Humankapital," Wirtschaft im Wandel, Halle Institute for Economic Research, vol. 11(10), pages 308-314.
  16. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1994. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," NBER Technical Working Papers 0151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
  18. Michael C. Burda, 2006. "Factor Reallocation in Eastern Germany after Reunification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 368-374, May.
  19. Holger Görg & David Greenaway, 2004. "Much Ado about Nothing? Do Domestic Firms Really Benefit from Foreign Direct Investment?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 19(2), pages 171-197.
  20. McCallum, John, 1995. "National Borders Matter: Canada-U.S. Regional Trade Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 615-23, June.
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