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Trade liberalization, the income elasticity of demand for imports, and growth in Latin America

Penélope Pacheco López () and Anthony Thirlwall ()

Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, 2006, vol. 29, issue 1, 41-61

Abstract: This paper applies the balance-of-payments-constrained growth model to 17 countries of Latin America over the period 1977-2002. The crucial parameter to estimate is the income elasticity of demand for imports, which is done for Latin America as a whole and for individual countries. As well as estimating over the whole period, the technique of rolling regressions is also used to test whether a trend increase can be discerned as a result of trade liberalization. A trend increase is found for Latin America as a whole and for some individual countries, and the balance-of-payments equilibrium growth rate is a good predictor of growth performance in nine of the 17 countries. There is no evidence that the balance-of-payments equilibrium growth rate has increased in Latin America as a result of trade liberalization.

Date: 2006
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