IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Trade Openness: An Australian Perspective

  • Simon Guttmann

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

  • Anthony Richards

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

Australia’s external trade is relatively low compared with the size of its economy. Indeed, Australia’s openness ratio (exports plus imports as a proportion of GDP) in 2002 was the third-lowest among the 30 OECD countries. This paper seeks to understand Australia’s low openness by analysing the empirical determinants of aggregate country trade. We begin by estimating a standard gravity model of bilateral trade. Although the model appears to fit the bilateral data very well, it does a relatively poor job at fitting countries’ aggregate trade levels, with different methodologies sometimes providing highly conflicting results. The focus of the paper is an equation for country openness. Our equation explains a substantial amount of the variation in how much countries trade using a small number of explanatory variables. We find that the most important determinants of openness are population and a measure of distance to potential trade partners. Countries with larger populations trade less, as do countries that are relatively more remote. Furthermore, after controlling for trade policy there is little evidence of a positive correlation between openness and economic development. While gravity models suggest Australia trades much more than expected, the openness equation suggests that its level of trade is relatively close to what would be expected. The most important factors in explaining Australia’s low openness ratio are its distance to the rest of the world, and to a lesser extent its large geographic size.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.rba.gov.au/publications/rdp/2004/pdf/rdp2004-11.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Reserve Bank of Australia in its series RBA Research Discussion Papers with number rdp2004-11.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Dec 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rba:rbardp:rdp2004-11
Contact details of provider: Postal: GPO Box 3947, Sydney NSW 2001
Phone: 61-2-9551-8111
Fax: 61-2-9551-8000
Web page: http://www.rba.gov.au/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: http://www.rba.gov.au/forms/rdp-order-form/

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Henri L.F. De Groot & Gert-Jan Linders & Piet Rietveld & Uma Subramanian, 2003. "The Institutional Determinants of Bilateral Trade Patterns," ERSA conference papers ersa03p421, European Regional Science Association.
  2. Wacziarg, Romain & Alesina, Alberto, 1998. "Openness, Country Size and Government," Scholarly Articles 4553014, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 2001. "What Role for Empirics in International Trade?," NBER Working Papers 8543, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. James E. Anderson & Douglas Marcouiller, S.J., 1999. "Insecurity and the Pattern of Trade: An Empirical Investigation," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 418, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 03 Aug 2000.
  5. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
  6. Stephen Redding & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "Economic Geography and International Inequality," CEP Discussion Papers dp0495, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  7. Francisco Rodriguez & Dani Rodrik, 1999. "Trade Policy and Economic Growth: a Skeptic's Guide to the Cross-National Evidence," Working Papers 9912, Economic Research Forum, revised Apr 1999.
  8. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
  9. Jon Haveman & David Hummels, 2004. "Alternative hypotheses and the volume of trade: the gravity equation and the extent of specialization," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 37(1), pages 199-218, February.
  10. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1998. "Introduction to "Regionalization of the World Economy, The"," NBER Chapters, in: The Regionalization of the World Economy, pages 1-6 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Clark, Ximena & Dollar, David & Micco, Alejandro, 2004. "Port efficiency, maritime transport costs, and bilateral trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 417-450, December.
  12. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1997. "Regional Trading Blocs in the World Economic System," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 72, December.
  13. Kenneth A. Froot & Kenneth Rogoff, 1991. "The EMS, the EMU, and the Transition to a Common Currency," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1991, Volume 6, pages 269-328 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Rose, Andrew K, 2002. "Do We Really Know that the WTO Increases Trade?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3538, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Pritchett, Lant, 1996. "Measuring outward orientation in LDCs: Can it be done?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 307-335, May.
  17. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(3), pages 691-751, September.
  18. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1998. "The Regionalization of the World Economy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number fran98-1, August.
  19. Rogowski, Ronald, 1987. "Trade and the variety of democratic institutions," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(02), pages 203-223, March.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rba:rbardp:rdp2004-11. 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: (Paula Drew)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.