Openness, Productivity and Growth: What Do We Really Know?
For over a century social analysts have debated the connection between trade policy and economic performance. This controversy continues today, even as the world is experiencing an unprecedented period of trade liberalization, and in spite of numerous empirical studies that claim to have found a positive effect of openness on growth. Two issues have been at the core of these controversies: first, until recently theoretical models had been unable to link trade policy to faster equilibrium growth. And second, the empirical literature on the subject has been affected by serious data problems. In this paper I use a new comparative data set for 93 countries to analyze the robustness of the relationship between openness and TFP growth. I use nine alternative indexes of trade policy to investigate whether the evidence supports the view that, with other things given, TFP growth is faster in more open economies. The regressions reported here are robust to the use of openness indicator, estimation technique, time period and functional form, and suggest that more open countries have indeed experienced faster productivity growth. Although the use of instrumental variables goes a long way towards dealing with endogeneity, issues related to causality are still somewhat open, and will require time series analyses to be adequately addressed.
|Date of creation:||Mar 1997|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Economic Journal, Vol. 108, no. 447 (March 1998): 383-398.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
- Rudiger Dornbusch & Sebastian Edwards, 1995. "Introduction to "Reform, Recovery, and Growth: Latin America and the Middle East"," NBER Chapters, in: Reform, Recovery, and Growth: Latin America and the Middle East, pages 1-10 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Harberger, Arnold C., 1996. "Reflections on economic growth in Asia and the Pacific," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 365-392.
- Sebastian Edwards, 1991.
"Trade Orientation, Distortions and Growth in Developing Countries,"
NBER Working Papers
3716, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Edwards, Sebastian, 1992. "Trade orientation, distortions and growth in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 31-57, July.
- Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1996.
"The Productivity of Nations,"
NBER Working Papers
5812, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995.
"Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration,"
Brookings Papers on Economic Activity,
Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
- 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.
- Robert C. Feenstra & Robert E. Lipsey & Harry P. Bowen, 1997. "World Trade Flows, 1970-1992, with Production and Tariff Data," NBER Working Papers 5910, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert J. Barro, 2013.
"Inflation and Economic Growth,"
Annals of Economics and Finance,
Society for AEF, vol. 14(1), pages 121-144, May.
- Rudiger Dornbusch & Sebastian Edwards, 1995. "Reform, Recovery, and Growth: Latin America and the Middle East," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number dorn95-1, May.
- Fischer, Stanley, 1993.
"The role of macroeconomic factors in growth,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 485-512, December.
- Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, June.
- Romer, Paul M, 1986.
"Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
- Edwards, Sebastian, 1993. "Openness, Trade Liberalization, and Growth in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 1358-93, September.
- Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 1994. "Sources of economic growth," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-46, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5978. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.