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Openness, Outward Orientation, Trade Liberalization and Economic Performance in Developing Countries

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  • Sebastian Edwards

Abstract

This paper deals with the role of trade regimes in determining economic performance and growth in the developing countries. The policy and empirical literatures on trade orientation and economic growth are critically reviewed; it is argued that a key limitation of these works has been the inability to create measures of trade orientation that are: (i) objective; (ii) continuous and (iii) comparable across countries. A growth model that relates trade orientation to the ability to absorb technological progress from the rest of the world is developed for the case of a small country. The model is tested using a new index of trade orientation that is free from the limitations described above. The results obtained using a cross country data set provide strong support to the hypothesis that, with other things given, countries with a less distorted external sector grow faster than those countries with a more distorted external sector. The new theories of economic growth are also discussed, and their usefulness for analyzing the relation between trade orientation and growth in the developing countries is assessed.

Suggested Citation

  • Sebastian Edwards, 1989. "Openness, Outward Orientation, Trade Liberalization and Economic Performance in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 2908, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2908
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    Cited by:

    1. Anca Maria GHERMAN & George ȘTEFAN, 2015. "Exports – trends and impacts on Romania’s economic growth process," Theoretical and Applied Economics, Asociatia Generala a Economistilor din Romania - AGER, vol. 0(2(603), S), pages 43-54, Summer.
    2. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1991. "Cross-country studies of growth and policy : methodological, conceptual, and statistical problems," Policy Research Working Paper Series 608, The World Bank.
    3. repec:agr:journl:v:2(602):y:2015:i:2(602):p:43-54 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Alireza Rahimi-Boroujerdi, 2005. "An Empirical & Theoretical Study about the Effects of Tariff on Economic Growth," Iranian Economic Review, Economics faculty of Tehran university, vol. 10(1), pages 105-133, spring.
    5. Raiser, Martin, 1993. "The no-exit economy: Soft budget constraints and the causes of success or failure of economic reforms in developing countries," Kiel Working Papers 581, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    6. Backus, David K. & Kehoe, Patrick J. & Kehoe, Timothy J., 1992. "In search of scale effects in trade and growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 377-409, December.
    7. Tybout, James R., 1991. "Researching the trade - productivity link : new directions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 638, The World Bank.
    8. Ibarra, Luis Alberto, 1995. "Credibility of trade policy reform and investment: the Mexican experience," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 39-60, June.
    9. Roubini, Nouriel & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1992. "Financial repression and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 5-30, July.
    10. Havrylyshyn, Oleh & Tarr, David, 1991. "Trade liberalization and the transition to a market economy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 700, The World Bank.
    11. Michele Bullock & Stephen Grenville & Geoffrey Heenan, 1993. "The Exchange Rate and the Current Account," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: Adrian Blundell-Wignall (ed.), The Exchange Rate, International Trade and the Balance of Payments Reserve Bank of Australia.
    12. María Soledad Feal Zubimendi, 2008. "Crecimiento económico y apertura comercial: análisis de la influencia de los canales," Estudios Economicos, Universidad Nacional del Sur, Departamento de Economia, vol. 25(50), pages 37-73, January-j.
    13. Mustapha Nabli, 1990. "The political economy of trade liberalization in developing countries," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 111-145, June.
    14. Timothy J. Kehoe & Kim J. Ruhl, 2010. "Why Have Economic Reforms in Mexico Not Generated Growth?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(4), pages 1005-1027, December.
    15. Ghali, Khalifa H. & Trabelsi, Hédi, 2006. "Capital Ownership And Its Impact On International Trade And Economic Growth: The Tunisian Experience," MPRA Paper 78974, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Aitken, Brian J., 1992. "Measuring trade policy intervention : a cross-country index of relative price dispersion," Policy Research Working Paper Series 838, The World Bank.
    17. Johnston, Paul V., 1992. "Trade Dependency Index Tables for Total, Merchandise and Agricultural Trade, 1960-88," Statistical Bulletin 154764, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    18. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1990. "Lecture Notes on Economic Growth(II): Five Prototype Models of Endogenous Growth," NBER Working Papers 3564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Dimitrios Paparas & Christian Richter, 2015. "Fiscal policy and economic growth: Empirical evidence from the European Union," Working Papers 2015.06, International Network for Economic Research - INFER.
    20. Mandeng, Ousmène Jacques, 1991. "Competitividad internacional y especialización," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), December.
    21. Khalifa Ghali, 1999. "Government size and economic growth: evidence from a multivariate cointegration analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(8), pages 975-987.
    22. Farhad Rassekh, 1993. "International trade and the relative dispersion of industrial wages and production techniques in 14 OECD countries, 1970–1985," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 325-344, September.
    23. I. Goldin & D. Evans, 1991. "Trade Reform and Structural Adjustment," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 59(3), pages 141-151, September.
    24. Agarwal, Jamuna Prasad & Langhammer, Rolf J. & Lücke, Matthias & Nunnenkamp, Peter, 1995. "Export expansion and diversification in Central and Eastern Europe: what can be learnt from East and Southeast Asia?," Kiel Discussion Papers 261, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    25. Sengupta, Jati K. & Okamura, Kumiko, 1996. "Learning by doing and openness in Japanese growth: A new approach," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 43-64, March.

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