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Central America, Panama, and the Dominican Republic; Trade Integration and Economic Performance

Author

Listed:
  • Stephanie Medina Cas
  • Andrew J Swiston
  • Luis D Barrot

Abstract

This paper studies the potential for the export sector to play a more important role in promoting growth in Central America, Panama, and the Dominican Republic (CAPDR) through deeper intra-regional and global trade integration. CAPDR countries have enacted many free trade agreements and other regional integration initiatives in recent years, but this paper finds that their exports remain below the norm for countries of their size. Several indexes of outward orientation are constructed and suggest that the breadth of geographic trading relationships, depth of integration into global production chains, and degree of technological sophistication of exports in CAPDR are less conducive to higher exports and growth than in fast-growing, export-oriented economies. To boost exports and growth, CAPDR should implement policies to facilitate economic integration, particularly building a customs union, harmonizing trade rules, improving logistics and infrastructure, and enhancing regional cordination.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephanie Medina Cas & Andrew J Swiston & Luis D Barrot, 2012. "Central America, Panama, and the Dominican Republic; Trade Integration and Economic Performance," IMF Working Papers 12/234, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:12/234
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Brenton, Paul & Newfarmer, Richard, 2007. "Watching more than the Discovery channel : export cycles and diversification in development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4302, The World Bank.
    2. Marcelo Gordillo,Darwin & Schwartz,Jordan Z. & Stokenberga,Aiga, 2010. "Understanding the benefits of regional integration to trade : the application of a gravity model to the case of Central America," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5506, The World Bank.
    3. Asier Minondo, 2010. "Exports' quality-adjusted productivity and economic growth," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 257-287.
    4. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong Wha, 2013. "A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 184-198.
    5. Alesina, Alberto & Spolaore, Enrico & Wacziarg, Romain, 2005. "Trade, Growth and the Size of Countries," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 23, pages 1499-1542 Elsevier.
    6. Robert C. Feenstra & Robert E. Lipsey & Haiyan Deng & Alyson C. Ma & Hengyong Mo, 2005. "World Trade Flows: 1962-2000," NBER Working Papers 11040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Brenton, Paul & Newfarmer, Richard & Walkenhorst, Peter, 2009. "Avenues for Export Diversification: Issues for Low-Income Countries," MPRA Paper 22758, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Mishra, Saurabh & Lundstrom, Susanna & Anand, Rahul, 2011. "Service export sophistication and economic growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5606, The World Bank.
    9. Andrew J Swiston & Luis D Barrot, 2011. "The Role of Structural Reforms in Raising Economic Growth in Central America," IMF Working Papers 11/248, International Monetary Fund.
    10. Alesina, Alberto & Wacziarg, Romain, 1998. "Openness, country size and government," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 305-321, September.
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