Trade Policy in Developing Countries

Trade Policy in Developing Countries

Trade Policy in Developing Countries

Trade Policy in Developing Countries


Trade Policy in Developing Countries is a research treatise aimed at academics, graduate students and professional, policy-oriented economists. It is the first work in the field to analyze trade policy in an integrated theoretical framework based on optimizing dynamic models that pay careful attention to the structural features of developing country economies. Following a thorough critique of the debate on inward- vs. outward-oriented trade regimes, Buffie examines the main issues of concern to less developed countries in the areas of optimal commercial policy, trade liberalization and direct foreign investment.


Indeed, the association between higher growth rates and an exportpromotion strategy had already been established before the present project began, although additional evidence has since confirmed the results.…It seemed neither necessary nor desirable to cover that ground again. (Krueger, 1983, p. 6)

That a liberal is preferable to a restrictive trade regime is now generally accepted, and a substantial body of empirical research carried out over the last 20 years supports this conclusion. (Michaely, Papageorgiou, and Choksi, 1991, p. 1)

The question of the wisdom of an outward-oriented (export-promoting) strategy may be considered to have been settled. (Bhagwati, 1987, p. 257)

[O]ne must resist succumbing to the oversimplifications and generalizations that have too frequently plagued the debates in the sphere of trade strategy…what seems to emerge from this survey is a need for a fresh review of fairly major proportions … of experience and knowledge of the interaction between trade and other policies and their joint effects upon industrialization and development. Such a review would be particularly valuable if it avoided prejudgements about the relative efficacy of specific trade and other policies in general; and instead explored the specific circumstances in which particular policies, instruments, and policy mixes were less or more effective. (Helleiner, 1990, pp. 880, 894)

The mainstream view is that… policy should be directed toward eliminating barriers to trade. There is also an increasing body of literature supporting the opposite point of view.…The best summary so far is that the debate is inconclusive: an a priori case for either an open or closed trade policy can never be fully proved… this Scotch verdict also applies to the empirical evidence on the relationship between openness and growth. (Shapiro and Taylor, 1990, p. 870)

Neat certainties have a very limited truth. (Robertson Davies, The Merry Heart, p. 281)

The last ten years have seen profound changes in the conduct of trade policy in the Third World. After following highly protectionist policies . . .

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