DP1568 | Structural Change and International Trade

Publication Date

21/02/1997

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Abstract

This paper examines trends in trade behaviour of 48 countries since the Second World War. In light of the substantial movement towards removal of trade impediments world-wide during the post-war period, this paper attempts to determine if, and when, countries experienced significant changes in the paths of their export-GDP and import-GDP ratios. We find that: (1) the time-paths of the trade ratios in most countries exhibit a structural break during the post-war period; (2) the extent of trade following the breaks exceeded the pre-break trade levels for the majority of countries; (3) the relationship between the timing of the break for imports and the timing of the break for exports is not particularly strong; and (4) there is little relation between the extent of the post-break to pre-break changes in imports and the post-break to pre-break changes in exports for most countries.