Development Through Synergistic Reform
Several studies suggest that production of high-quality output is a precondition for firms in less developed countries to participate in the export market. Institutional deficiencies that raise the costs of entry into high-quality production therefore limit the positive impact that trade liberalization can have on income or growth. Institutional reform that reduces the costs of entry into high-quality production and trade reform therefore have synergistic effects on income and, possibly, growth. In contrast, institutional reform that reduces the costs of entry into low-quality production (e.g., reforms targeted at small businesses) interferes with the impact of trade reform. The model that yields these results is also used to analyze impacts of foreign direct investment and of subsidies to entrepreneurship in the presence of unemployment.
I thank Jennifer Poole for excellent research assistance and the Institute of Financial Economics at the American University of Beirut for its support. Previous drafts of this paper were presented at the University of Southern California and at a joint IMF/World Bank seminar. I am responsible for any errors. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Rauch, James E., 2010. "Development through synergistic reforms," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 153-161, November. citation courtesy of