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The Impact of Trade Liberalizationon the Trade Balance in Developing Countries

  • Yi Wu
  • Li Zeng
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    Using two recently constructed measures of trade liberalization dates, this research studies the impact of trade liberalization on imports, exports, and overall trade balance for a large sample of developing countries. We find strong and consistent evidence that trade liberalization leads to higher imports and exports. However, in contrast Santos-Paulino and Thirwall (2004) who find a robustly negative impact of trade liberalization on the overall trade balance, we only find mixed evidence of such a negative impact. In particular, we find little evidence of a statistically significant negative impact using our first measure of liberalization dates which extends Li (2004). Using a second measure of liberalization dates compiled by Wacziarg and Welch (2003), we find some evidence that liberalization worsens the trade balance, but the evidence is not robust across different estimation specifications, and the estimated impact is smaller than that reported by Santos-Paulino and Thirwall (2004).

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    Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 08/14.

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    Length: 19
    Date of creation: 01 Jan 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:08/14
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    1. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
    2. Santos-Paulino, Amelia U., 2002. "The Effects of Trade Liberalization on Imports in Selected Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 959-974, June.
    3. Baunsgaard, Thomas & Keen, Michael, 2010. "Tax revenue and (or?) trade liberalization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 563-577, October.
    4. Xiangming Li, 2004. "Trade Liberalization and Real Exchange Rate Movement," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 51(3), pages 553-584, November.
    5. David Greenaway & David Sapsford, 1994. "What does liberalisation do for exports and growth?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 130(1), pages 152-174, March.
    6. Bowsher, Clive G., 2002. "On testing overidentifying restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 211-220, October.
    7. Melo, Oscar & Vogt, Michael G., 1984. "Determinants of the demand for imports of Venezuela," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 351-358, April.
    8. Jeffrey Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Progress of Global Integration," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1733, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    9. Amelia Santos-Paulino & A. P. Thirlwall, 2004. "The impact of trade liberalisation on exports, imports and the balance of payments of developing countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(493), pages F50-F72, 02.
    10. Bertola, Giuseppe & Faini, Riccardo, 1990. "Import demand and non-tariff barriers: The impact of trade liberalization : An application to Morocco," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1-2), pages 269-286, November.
    11. Nasiruddin Ahmed, 2000. "Export response to trade liberalization in Bangladesh: a cointegration analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(8), pages 1077-1084.
    12. David Roodman, 2006. "How to Do xtabond2: An Introduction to "Difference" and "System" GMM in Stata," Working Papers 103, Center for Global Development.
    13. Ostry, Jonathan D. & Rose, Andrew K., 1992. "An empirical evaluation of the macroeconomic effects of tarrifs," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 63-79, February.
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