Openness and economic performance in sub-Saharan Africa : evidence from time-series cross-country analysis
In a cross-country study for 1967-87, the author tests whether the finding that increased openness improves performance holds true for sub-Saharan Africa as a subgroup among developing countries. Econometric analysis - based on the augmented production function that includes labor, capital stock, and a measure of openness - shows that openness exerts a significant positive impact on economic performance of countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The relationship is especially strong in fixed-effect estimates that use annual panel data with country dummies to capture unobserved country-specific differences. The author finds the evidence of a positive link between openness and performance surprisingly robust to different measures of openness, to different periods, and to the inclusion of other policy variables. All four measures of openness, for example, are significant for 1967-87. For the shorter period, 1980-87, three are significant. Also, the size and significance of the openness coefficients do not change when one controls for macroeconomic policy.
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