The paper investigates whether trade openness contributes to long-run economic growth and the effect varies with the level of economic development. We implement this analysis through the instrument-variable threshold regressions approach. The empirical evidence shows that there indeed exists an income threshold above which greater trade openness has beneficial effects on economic growth and below which heightened trade has detrimental consequences. It implies that greater international trade and integration may contribute to more diverging economies. In addition, the relationship of trade with growth is found to work possibly through both investment and productivity growth channels.
Journal of Development Studies 45(8), pp.1211-1224