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Openness and Growth: The Long Shadow of the Berlin Wall

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  • Claudia M. Buch
  • Farid Toubal

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Claudia M. Buch & Farid Toubal, 2007. "Openness and Growth: The Long Shadow of the Berlin Wall," IAW Discussion Papers 31, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).
  • Handle: RePEc:iaw:iawdip:31
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Heineck, Guido & Süssmuth, Bernd, 2013. "A different look at Lenin’s legacy: Social capital and risk taking in the Two Germanies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 789-803.
    2. Felbermayr, Gabriel J. & Hiller, Sanne & Sala, Davide, 2010. "Does immigration boost per capita income?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 177-179, May.
    3. Spies, Julia, 2010. "Network and border effects: Where do foreign multinationals locate in Germany?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 20-32, January.
    4. repec:ces:ifodic:v:9:y:2011:i:1:p:15790748 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Gröschl, Jasmin, 2013. "Natural disasters and the effect of trade on income: A new panel IV approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 18-30.
    6. Wolf, Nikolaus, 2009. "Was Germany Ever United? Evidence from Intra- and International Trade, 1885–1933," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 69(03), pages 846-881, September.
    7. Cooray, Arusha & Tamazian, Artur & Vadlamannati, Krishna Chaitanya, 2014. "What drives FDI policy liberalization? An empirical investigation," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 179-189.
    8. Gabriel Felbermayr & Jasmin Gröschl, 2014. "Within U.S. Trade And The Long Shadow Of The American Secession," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(1), pages 382-404, January.
    9. Stanislav Cernosa, 2011. "Openness to Trade, Migration and Foreign Direct Investments of the EU," WIFO Working Papers 401, WIFO.
    10. Jasmin Katrin Gröschl, 2013. "Gravity Model Applications and Macroeconomic Perspectives," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 48, June.
    11. Smolny Werner, 2012. "Cyclical Adjustment, Capital-labor Substitution and Total Factor Productivity Convergence – East Germany After Unification," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 232(4), pages 445-459, August.
    12. Marta Gotz, 2010. "Problems of Economic Development in Reunified Germany. Retrospective Approach," Contemporary Economics, University of Finance and Management in Warsaw, vol. 4(2), June.
    13. Loitongbam, Bishwanjit Singh, 2015. "Regional Economic Agglomeration and Openness: The Economic Development of the North Eastern Region (NER)," MPRA Paper 80978, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 02 Feb 2016.
    14. Wendy Carlin, 2011. "Good Institutions are not Enough: Ongoing Challenges of Eastern German Development," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 9(1), pages 28-34, 05.
    15. repec:eee:jcecon:v:46:y:2018:i:1:p:308-325 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Nicholas Apergis & Arusha Cooray, 2016. "Old Wine In A New Bottle: Trade Openness And Fdi Flows—Are The Emerging Economies Converging?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 34(2), pages 336-351, April.
    17. Simplice A, Asongu, 2010. "Financial development, trade openness and financial openness: do income levels matter for developing countries?," MPRA Paper 27441, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    openness; growth; German re-unification;

    JEL classification:

    • F2 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies

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