Is the Economic Growth in Developing Countries affected by Free Trade?

University essay from Södertörns högskola/Nationalekonomi

Abstract: The thesis examines the relationship between free trade and the economic growth in developing countries. The developments of a more integrated and globalized world challenges countries in new ways by easier access to information and technology, intensified competition and larger requirements on economic efficiency and increased productivity. It is important to examine if trade can induce economic growth, since long-run economic growth determine how living standards change, and provides an opportunity to improve the welfare and reduce the worlds poverty rates. Trade affects countries in different ways and developing countries have diverse growth experiences, where some countries have managed to increase their economic growth compared to others. The thesis presents trade policies and theories, and a brief overview of the controversies regarding trade. The relationship between economic growth and trade is dynamic and complex and trade can be used as a mean to benefit from technological transfers and knowledge spillovers, factors that have a substantial influence on economic growth, along with investments. A cross-section regression analysis is conducted to examine the relationship between trade openness and economic growth. The empirical results show a positive correlation between trade openness and economic growth in developing countries. High initial GDP and population growth are negatively correlated with GDP per Capita growth, while Rule of Law has a positive impact on GDP per Capita growth.

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