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The trade-GDP ratio as a measure of openness

Bleaney, Michael; Tian, Mo

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Michael Bleaney

Assistant Professor


The ratio of trade to GDP is often used as a summary measure of a country's openness to the rest of the world. It is well known that the trade-GDP ratio is affected by relatively time-invariant factors, such as country size and remoteness from trading partners, that can largely be controlled for in crosscountry panels by using country fixed effects. It is shown here that there are also other important, time-varying influences on the trade-GDP ratio that have been little investigated, such as the prices of commodity exports and imports, the real effective exchange rate and the ratio of investment to GDP. These factors are shown to be significant, and not only in the short run, and need to be taken into account in estimating the long-run effects of transport costs or trade policy on the trade/GDP ratio. Word count: 5,412


Bleaney, M., & Tian, M. (2023). The trade-GDP ratio as a measure of openness. World Economy, 46(5), 1319-1332.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 12, 2022
Online Publication Date Dec 1, 2022
Publication Date 2023-05
Deposit Date Nov 23, 2022
Publicly Available Date Dec 1, 2022
Journal World Economy
Print ISSN 0378-5920
Electronic ISSN 1467-9701
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 46
Issue 5
Pages 1319-1332
Keywords trade openness; real exchange rate; commodity prices; investment
Public URL
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