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Distance to Frontier and New Import Growth



In a panel-data study involving product-level import data for 48 developing countries that underwent substantial trade liberalization between 1989 and 2001, this study finds that the growth of trade in new goods imported following major trade liberalization is related to the state of technology that existed just before liberalization. The study develops two new measures of the extensive margin. Findings indicate that greater is the distance of a country from the world technology frontier, the faster is its growth of new goods imports. This indicates a higher cost of trade protection for countries further away from the world technology frontier.