Endogenous Financial and Trade Openness

Joshua Aizenman, Ilan Noy

NBER Working Paper No. 10496
Issued in May 2004, Revised in January 2008
NBER Program(s):International Trade and Investment

This paper studies the endogenous determination of financial and trade openness. First, we outline a theoretical framework leading to two-way feedbacks between the different modes of openness; next, we identify these feedbacks empirically. We find that one standard deviation increase in commercial openness is associated with a 9.5 percent increase in de-facto financial openness (% of GDP), controlling for political economy and macroeconomic factors. Similarly, increase in de-facto financial openness has powerful effects on future trade openness. De-jure restrictions on capital mobility have only a weak impact on de-facto financial openness, while de-jure restrictions on the current account have large adverse effect on commercial openness. Having established (Granger) causality, we investigate the relative magnitudes of these directions of causality using Geweke's (1982) decomposition methodology. We find that almost all of the linear feedback between trade and financial openness can be accounted for by G-causality from financial openness to trade openness (53%) and from trade to financial openness (34%). We conclude that in an era of rapidly growing trade integration countries cannot choose financial openness independently of their degree of openness to trade. Dealing with greater exposure to financial turbulence by imposing restrictions on financial flows will likely be ineffectual.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w10496

Published: Joshua Aizenman & Ilan Noy, 2009. "Endogenous Financial and Trade Openness," Review of Development Economics, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 13(2), pages 175-189, 05. citation courtesy of

This paper was subsequently revised as NBER working paper w10144, Endogenous Financial Openness: Efficiency and Political Economy Considerations, Joshua Aizenman, Ilan Noy
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