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The Growth Effects of Openness to Trade and the Role of Institutions: New Evidence from African Countries

  • Léonce Ndikumana

    ()

    (University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and UNECA, Addis Ababa)

  • Mina Baliamoune-Lutz

    ()

    (University of North Florida and IED/Boston University)

In this paper, we explore the argument that one of the causes for the limited growth effects of trade openness in Africa may be the weakness of institutions. We also control for several major factors and, in particular, for export diversification, using a newly developed dataset on Africa. Results from Arellano-Bond GMM estimations on panel data from African countries show that institutions play an important role in enhancing the growth effects of trade. Moreover, we find that the joint effect of institutions and trade has a U-shape, suggesting that as openness to trade reaches high levels, institutions play a critical role in harnessing the trade-led engine of growth. The results from this paper are informative about the missing link between trade liberalization and growth in the case of African countries. JEL Categories:

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Paper provided by University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics in its series UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers with number 2007-05.

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Date of creation: Mar 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ums:papers:2007-05
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  1. Greenaway, David & Morgan, Wyn & Wright, Peter, 2002. "Trade liberalisation and growth in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 229-244, February.
  2. Patrick GUILLAUMONT & Sylviane GUILLAUMONT JEANNENEY & Jean-François BRUN, 1997. "How Instability Lowers African Growth ?," Working Papers 199712, CERDI.
  3. Schneider, Patricia Higino, 2005. "International trade, economic growth and intellectual property rights: A panel data study of developed and developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 529-547, December.
  4. Hiranya Mukhopadhyay, 1999. "Trade liberalization in sub-Saharan Africa: stagnation or growth?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(6), pages 825-835.
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  7. Rodrik, Dani & Subramanian, Arvind & Trebbi, Francesco, 2002. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 3643, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  11. Lopez, Ramon, 1991. "How trade and macroeconomic policies affect economic growth and capital accumulation in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 625, The World Bank.
  12. A. K. Fosu, 2001. "Economic Fluctuations and Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Importance of Import Instability," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(3), pages 71-85.
  13. Addison, Tony & Baliamoune-Lutz, Mina, 2006. "Economic reform when institutional quality is weak: The case of the Maghreb," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 28(9), pages 1029-1043, December.
  14. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  15. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  16. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James & Thaicharoen, Yunyong, 2003. "Institutional causes, macroeconomic symptoms: volatility, crises and growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 49-123, January.
  17. Joshua Lewer & Hendrik Van den Berg, 2003. "Does trade composition influence economic growth? Time series evidence for 28 OECD and developing countries," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 39-96.
  18. Yanikkaya, Halit, 2003. "Trade openness and economic growth: a cross-country empirical investigation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 57-89, October.
  19. Sachs, Jeffrey D & Warner, Andrew M, 1997. "Fundamental," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 184-88, May.
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