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Natural Openness and Good Government

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  • Shang-Jin Wei

Abstract

This paper offers a new interpretation of the connection between openness and good governance. Assuming that corruption and bad governance drive out international trade and investment more than domestic trade and investment, a naturally more open economy' as determined by its size and geography would devote more resources to building good institutions and would display lower corruption in equilibrium. In data, naturally more open economies' do exhibit less corruption even after taking into account their levels of development. Residual openness' which potentially includes trade policies is found not to be important once natural openness' is accounted for. Moreover, naturally more open economies' also tend to pay better civil servant salaries relative to their private sector alternatives indicative of the marginal benefit of good governance in a society's revealed preference. These patterns are consistent with the conceptual model.

Suggested Citation

  • Shang-Jin Wei, 2000. "Natural Openness and Good Government," NBER Working Papers 7765, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7765
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-279, April.
    2. Rafael Di Tella & Alberto Ades, 1999. "Rents, Competition, and Corruption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 982-993, September.
    3. Daniel Kaufmann & Shang-Jin Wei, 1999. "Does "Grease Money" Speed Up the Wheels of Commerce?," NBER Working Papers 7093, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Andrew K. Rose, 1999. "One Money, One Market: Estimating the Effect of Common Currencies on Trade," NBER Working Papers 7432, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Rauch, James E. & Evans, Peter B., 2000. "Bureaucratic structure and bureaucratic performance in less developed countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 49-71, January.
    6. Fisman, Raymond & Gatti, Roberta, 2002. "Decentralization and corruption: evidence across countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 325-345, March.
    7. Shang-Jin Wei, 2000. "How Taxing is Corruption on International Investors?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(1), pages 1-11, February.
    8. International Monetary Fund, 1997. "Corruption and the Rate of Temptation; Do Low Wages in the Civil Service Cause Corruption?," IMF Working Papers 97/73, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Frankel, Jeffrey & Stein, Ernesto & Wei, Shang-jin, 1995. "Trading blocs and the Americas: The natural, the unnatural, and the super-natural," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 61-95, June.
    10. Shang-Jin Wei, 1996. "Intra-National versus International Trade: How Stubborn are Nations in Global Integration?," NBER Working Papers 5531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
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    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General
    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade

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