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Trade and Growth under Limited Liberalization, The Case of Belarus


  • Marina Bakanova

    (Belarusian State University, Minsk, Belarus)

  • L303272cio Vinhas de Souza

    (Tinbergen Institute,Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands)


This paper studies the connection between trade and growth in the context of a partial and inconsistent liberalization process in a specific Eastern European country in transition towards market economy, namely, the Republic of Belarus. The analysis of the country trade patterns during the USSR period and the years since independence revealed that unlike its close neighbors (the Baltic States and Poland) Belarus did not succeed in changing the commodity or the geographical structure of its trade. It is almost a good representation of reality to say that Belarus trades with Russia. The assessment of the rationale for the closer integration with Russia and the impact of this process on Belarus growth led us to the conclusion that the integration in the form of a non-exclusive Free Trade Area and within the framework of a wider set of international connections rather than the move towards a Customs Union (and a Union State) with Russia would be a more optimal policy for Belarus. This conclusion is supported by the results of country-specific growth regressions and of a counterfactual "free trade experiment" via a small CGE model

Suggested Citation

  • Marina Bakanova & L303272cio Vinhas de Souza, 2001. "Trade and Growth under Limited Liberalization, The Case of Belarus," International Trade 0108005, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpit:0108005
    Note: Type of Document - Acrobat PDF; prepared on IBM PC; to print on HP; pages: 31; figures: included

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stanley Fischer & Ratna Sahay, 2000. "The Transition Economies After Ten Years," IMF Working Papers 00/30, International Monetary Fund.
    2. de Melo, Martha & Denizer, Cevdet & Gelb, Alan & Tenev, Stoyan, 1997. "Circumstance and choice : the role of initial conditions and policies in transition economies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1866, The World Bank.
    3. Stanley Fischer & Ratna Sahay, 2000. "The Transition Economies After Ten Years," NBER Working Papers 7664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-443.
    5. Orlowski, Lucjan T., 1993. "Indirect transfers in trade among former Soviet Union Republics: Sources, patterns and policy responses in the post-Soviet period," Kiel Working Papers 556, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    6. Breuss, Fritz & Tesche, Jean, 1993. "Hungary in transition: a computable general equilibrium model comparison with Austria," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 15(5-6), pages 581-623.
    7. Tarr, David G., 1993. "How moving to world prices affects the terms of trade in 15 countries of the former Soviet Union," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1074, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lúcio De Souza, 2006. "A Wider Europe: Trade Relations Between an Enlarged EU and the Russian Federation," Problems of Economic Transition, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(2), pages 6-33.
    2. Getachew, Asgedom Tessema & Tadele, Ferede & Arega, Hailu & Fantu, Guta, 2001. "The Impact of Regional Economic Cooperation on the Ethiopian Manufacturing Sector: the Case of Common Market for Southern and Eastern Free Trade Area (COMESA-FTA)," Ethiopian Journal of Economics, Ethiopian Economics Association, vol. 10(1).
    3. Vinhas de Souza, Lúcio, 2011. "An Initial Estimation of the Economic Effects of the Creation of the EurAsEC Customs Union on Its Members," World Bank - Economic Premise, The World Bank, issue 47, pages 1-7, January.
    4. Irina Tochitskaya & Lúcio Vinhas de Souza, 2009. "Trade relations between an enlarged EU and the Russian Federation, and its effects in Belarus," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 1-24, May.

    More about this item


    Belarus transition trade liberalization;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • P52 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Studies of Particular Economies

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