Relative returns to policy reform - evidence from controlled cross-country regressions
The authors aim at contributing to understand the dispersion of returns from policy reforms using cross-country regressions. The authors compare the"before reform"with"after reform"GDP growth outcome of countries that undertook import-liberalization and fiscal policy reforms. They survey a large sample (about 54) of developing countries over the period 1980-99. The benefits of openness to trade and fiscal prudence have been extensively identified in the growth literature, but the evidence from simple cross-section analysis can sometimes be inconclusive and remains vulnerable to criticism on estimation techniques, such as identification, endogeneity, multi-colinearity, and the quality of the data. The authors use a different analytical framework that establishes additional controls. First, they construct a counterfactual control group. These are countries that-under specific thresholds-did not introduce policy reforms under scrutiny. Second, the authors also try to use the most appropriate variable of policy reform, for example, exogenous changes in import-tariffs instead of the endogenous sum of all trade flows. Third, the authors try to base the before-after reform comparison on the most accurate date for the beginning of a policy reform period (instead of comparing averages over fixed intervals of time). Once these controls are set, they explain the difference between average GDP growth rates during the country-specific post and the pre-reform periods, relative to the average GDP growth of the relevant control group. The explanatory variables in the regressions include the standard growth-regression controls. The results are the following: 1) With a better measurement and timing of the policy reforms, the growth effect (the"returns on reform") is generally smaller than in previous papers. 2) There is evidence of contingent relationships between policy and growth, corresponding to the country's size, its export profile, and its governance. 2) Within the group of policy reformers, some countries have exhibited a relatively weaker growth response. Overall, the findings suggest that more accurate measurement and definition of the timing of reforms does not strengthen the significance of the effects of reforms on GDP growth. In fact, the effects are weaker than indicated in most cross-section studies. This suggests that the policy implications to be derived from these relationships should be treated with even more caution than previously thought.
|Date of creation:||31 Oct 2002|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page: http://www.worldbank.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.:
- Ben-David, Dan, 1993. "Equalizing Exchange: Trade Liberalization and Income Convergence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 653-79, August.
- Rodrik, Dani, 1999.
" Where Did All the Growth Go? External Shocks, Social Conflict, and Growth Collapses,"
Journal of Economic Growth,
Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 385-412, December.
- Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Where Did All The Growth Go? External Shocks, Social Conflict, and Growth Collapses," NBER Working Papers 6350, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rodrik, Dani, 1998. "Where Did all the Growth Go? External Shocks, Social Conflict and Growth Collapses," CEPR Discussion Papers 1789, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Harrison, Ann, 1996.
"Openness and growth: A time-series, cross-country analysis for developing countries,"
Journal of Development Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 419-447, March.
- Ann Harrison, 1995. "Openness and Growth: A Time-Series, Cross-Country Analysis for Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 5221, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Harrison, Ann, 1991. "Openness and growth : a time series, cross-country analysis for developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 809, The World Bank.
- Wacziarg, Romain, 2000.
"Measuring the Dynamic Gains from Trade,"
1654, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
- Easterly, William & Rebelo, Sérgio, 1994.
"Fiscal Policy and Economic Growth: An Empirical Investigation,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
885, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Easterly, William & Rebelo, Sergio, 1993. "Fiscal policy and economic growth: An empirical investigation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 417-458, December.
- William Easterly & Sergio Rebelo, 1993. "Fiscal Policy and Economic Growth: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 4499, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert J. Barro, 1988.
"Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth,"
NBER Working Papers
2588, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Barro, Robert J, 1990. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S103-26, October.
- Barro, Robert J., 1990. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogeneous Growth," Scholarly Articles 3451296, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Barro, R.J., 1988. "Government Spending In A Simple Model Of Endogenous Growth," RCER Working Papers 130, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
- Francisco Rodriguez & Dani Rodrik, 1999. "Trade Policy and Economic Growth: A Skeptic's Guide to Cross-National Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7081, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Philip R. Gerson, 1998. "The Impact of Fiscal Policy Variableson Output Growth," IMF Working Papers 98/1, International Monetary Fund.
- Reinhart, Carmen & Tokatlidis, Ioannis, 2005. "Before and After Financial Liberalization," MPRA Paper 6986, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- 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.
- 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.
- Eric M. Engen & Jonathan Skinner, 1992. "Fiscal Policy and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 4223, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Faezeh Foroutan, 1998. "Does Membership in a Regional Preferential Trade Arrangement Make a Country More or Less Protectionist?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(3), pages 305-335, 05.
- Foroutan, Faezeh, 1998. "Does membership in a regional preferential trade arrangement make a country more or less protectionist?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1898, The World Bank.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2898. 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: (Roula I. Yazigi)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.