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Trade, regulations, and growth

Author

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  • Bolaky, Bineswaree
  • Freund, Caroline

Abstract

Trade does not stimulate growth in economies with excessive business and labor regulations. The authors examine the effect of openness on growth using cross-country regressions in both levels and changes. Results from the levels regressions imply that increased openness is associated with a lower standard of living in heavily-regulated economies. Growth regressions confirm that the effect of increased trade on growth is absent in these countries. The authors also find that once they control for the effect of trade on growth in heavily regulated economies, the evidence that trade positively affects growth is stronger than has been found in previous studies. Excessive regulations restrict growth because resources are prevented from moving into the most productive sectors and to the most efficient firms following liberalization. In addition, in highly regulated economies, increased trade is more likely to occur in the wrong goods-that is, goods where comparative advantage does not lie. The results imply that countries must create a sound business environment before trade can be used as an engine of growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Bolaky, Bineswaree & Freund, Caroline, 2004. "Trade, regulations, and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3255, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3255
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Busse, Matthias & Hefeker, Carsten, 2007. "Political risk, institutions and foreign direct investment," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 397-415, June.
    2. Maurice Obstfeld, 2009. "International Finance and Growth in Developing Countries: What Have We Learned?," NBER Working Papers 14691, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Salinas, Gonzalo & Aksoy, Ataman, 2006. "Growth before and after trade liberalization," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4062, The World Bank.
    4. Chang, Roberto & Kaltani, Linda & Loayza, Norman V., 2009. "Openness can be good for growth: The role of policy complementarities," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 33-49, September.
    5. Emma Aisbett, 2007. "Why are the Critics So Convinced that Globalization is Bad for the Poor?," NBER Chapters,in: Globalization and Poverty, pages 33-86 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Bergoeing, Raphael & Loayza, Norman & Repetto, Andrea, 2004. "Slow recoveries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 473-506, December.
    7. Tomasz Iwanow & Colin Kirkpatrick, 2007. "Trade facilitation, regulatory quality and export performance," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(6), pages 735-753.
    8. Francois, Joseph & Manchin, Miriam, 2013. "Institutions, Infrastructure, and Trade," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 165-175.
    9. Mellati, Ali, 2008. "Uncertainty and investment in private sector: An analytical argument and a review of the economy of Iran," MPRA Paper 26655, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. John Romalis, 2007. "Market Access, Openness and Growth," NBER Working Papers 13048, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Ann Harrison & Margaret McMillan, 2007. "On the links between globalization and poverty," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 5(1), pages 123-134, April.
    12. Dang, D Anh, 2010. "Trade Liberalization and Institutional Quality: Evidence from Vietnam," MPRA Paper 26346, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 31 Aug 2010.
    13. World Bank, 2005. "Bolivia : Country Economic Memorandum, Policies to Improve Growth and Employment," World Bank Other Operational Studies 8399, The World Bank.
    14. Tang, Man-Keung & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2009. "The value of making commitments externally: Evidence from WTO accessions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 216-229, July.
    15. Grossmann, Volker, 2008. "Entrepreneurial Innovation and Sustained Long-Run Growth without Weak or Strong Scale Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 3389, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    16. Bernard Hoekman, 2004. "Policies Facilitating Firm Adjustment to Globalization," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(3), pages 457-473, Autumn.
    17. Freund, Caroline & Bolaky, Bineswaree, 2008. "Trade, regulations, and income," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 309-321, October.
    18. Dennis, Allen, 2006. "Trade liberalization, factor market flexibility, and growth : the case of Morocco and Tunisia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3857, The World Bank.
    19. Matthias Busse & José Luis Groizard, 2008. "Foreign Direct Investment, Regulations and Growth," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(7), pages 861-886, July.
    20. Bernard Hoekman & Alan L. Winters, 2005. "Trade and Employment: Stylized Facts and Research Findings," Working Papers 7, United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs.
    21. Loayza, Norman V. & Oviedo, Ana Maria & Serven, Luis, 2005. "Regulation and macroeconomic performance," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3469, The World Bank.
    22. Amin, Mohammad & Mattoo, Aaditya, 2006. "Do institutions matter more for services ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4032, The World Bank.

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