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Trade Orientation, Distortions and Growth in Developing Countries

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  • Sebastian Edwards

Abstract

In this paper I use a cross country data set to analyze the relationship between trade orientation, trade distortions and growth. I first develop a simple endogenous growth model that emphasizes the process of technological absorption in small developing countries. According to this model countries that liberalize their international trade and become more open will tend to grow faster. Whether this higher growth is permanent, or only a short run result, will depend on the relative size of some key parameters. using nine alternative indicators of trade orientation I find out that the data supports the view that more open economies tend to grow faster than economies with trade distortions. The results are robust to the method of estimation, to correction for errors in variables and for the deletion of outliers. I finally argue that future research in the area should move towards the empirical investigation of the microeconomics of technological innovations and growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Sebastian Edwards, 1991. "Trade Orientation, Distortions and Growth in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 3716, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3716
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    1. Dani Rodrik, 1988. "Closing the Technology Gap: Does Trade Liberalization Really Help?," NBER Working Papers 2654, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-443.
    3. King, Robert G & Rebelo, Sergio, 1990. "Public Policy and Economic Growth: Developing Neoclassical Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 126-150, October.
    4. Susan M. Collins & Won Am Park, 1988. "External Debt and Macroeconomic Performance in South Korea," NBER Working Papers 2596, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Dollar, David, 1992. "Outward-Oriented Developing Economies Really Do Grow More Rapidly: Evidence from 95 LDCs, 1976-1985," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(3), pages 523-544, April.
    6. Jagdish N. Bhagwati, 1978. "Foreign Trade Regimes and Economic Development: Anatomy and Consequences of Exchange Control Regimes," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bhag78-1.
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