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Investigating the Role of Regional Economic Integration on Growth: Fresh Insights from South Asia

Muhammad Ibrahim Shah ()

Global Journal of Emerging Market Economies, 2021, vol. 13, issue 1, 35-57

Abstract: Regional economic integration is the key to achieving prosperity and stability. However, intra-regional trade in South Asia accounts for not more than 5%–6% of their total trade. This study aims to examine the role played by regional economic integration in determining the economic growth of South Asian countries over the period 1980–2015. Since shocks in one country may affect another country in the region, this is taken into account in the article by employing methodologies that are robust to cross sectional dependence. Specifically, continuously-updated and bias-corrected (CupBC) of Bai et al. (2009) and Dumitrescu–Hurlin panel causality test (2012) have been employed to estimate long-run coefficients and determine the direction of relationship among the variables, respectively. The findings suggest that economic integration increases economic growth significantly in this region. However, contrary to popular belief, both democracy and human capital are negatively related to economic growth. Bidirectional causality is found between economic integration and democracy, regional integration and human capital, democracy and human capital and, democracy and labor. This study also presents several policy implications for South Asian countries.

Keywords: Integration; growth; South Asia; cross-sectional dependence; CUP; causality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1177/0974910120974800

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