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WHEN IS TRADE PROTECTION GOOD FOR GROWTH?

Authors

  • JENNY MINIER,

    1. Minier: Professor, Department of Economics, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506-0034. Phone +1-859-257-9681, Fax +1-859-323-1920, E-mail jminier@uky.edu
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  • BULENT UNEL

    1. Unel: Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University; Baton Rouge, LA 70803-6302. Phone +1-225-578-3792, Fax +1-225-578-3807, E-mail: bunel@lsu.edu
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    • We would like to thank Chris Bollinger, Josh Ederington, Rob Reed, Andreas Savvides, Athanasios Vamvakidis, and participants at the 2008 Southern Growth Conference at the SEA meetings for helpful comments and discussion. We also thank two anonymous referees for their helpful comments and suggestions. Any errors are ours alone.


Abstract

The empirical relationship between trade protection and economic growth is surprisingly fragile, as shown in a number of other papers. We address one possible explanation for these findings: that the relationship is contingent on the pattern of comparative advantage, following the endogenous growth literature. Our findings suggest that such contingencies do in fact exist—in particular, the correlation between tariffs and growth is strong and positive for skill-abundant countries—and are robust to the choice of control variables. (JEL F13, F43, O19, O24)

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