Individual country experience with trade liberalisation has been mixed. This paper examines the relationship between liberalisation and growth for a sample of 75 liberalising countries. To consider the importance of heterogeneity in the growth response to liberalisation this paper employs quantile regression methods which allow the coefficient on liberalisation to vary across the conditional growth distribution. The results suggest that countries experiencing the lowest rates of growth benefit most from liberalisation. The results also suggest that while such countries benefit most in the long-run they are the most likely to suffer from short-run negative effects of liberalisation. Copyright 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.