Studies of the impact of trade openness on growth are based either on crosscountry analysis—which lacks transparency—or case studies—which lack statistical rigor. This paper applies a transparent econometric method drawn from the treatment evaluation literature (matching estimators) to make the comparison between treated (that is, open) and control (that is, closed) countries explicit while remaining within a statistical framework. Matching estimators highlight that common cross-country evidence is based on rather far-fetched country comparisons, which stem from the lack of common support of treated and control countries in the covariate space. The paper therefore advocates paying more attention to appropriate sample restriction in crosscountry macro research.
This paper reviews recent theoretical and empirical work on controls over International capital movements. Theoretical contributions reviewed focus on “second-best “ arguments for capital market restrictions, as well as arguments based on multiple equilibria. The empirical literature suggests that controls have been “effective “ in the narrow sense of influencing yield differentials. But there is little evidence that controls have helped governments meet policy objectives, with the exception of reducing the governments’ debt-service costs, and no evidence that controls have enhanced economic welfare in a manner suggested by theory.