Do Natural Barriers Affect the Relationship Between Trade Openness and Growth?

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This article investigates whether there are threshold effects in the relationship between openness and productivity growth that are fashioned by a country's natural barriers, using a cross-country growth model. Alternative methods of modelling thresholds are explored. An endogenous threshold model is shown to be preferable to the use of interaction effects. The results identify critical levels of natural barriers which affect how greater openness or liberalization impacts on productivity growth. We find that only countries with higher natural barriers receive growth benefits from trade liberalization.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalOxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2012


  • O49, F13