Vinsten av ekonomisk öppenhet

Att länder vinner på ekonomisk öppenhet är de flesta överens om. Graden av öppenhet definieras i de flesta empiriska studier som graden av frihandel; men i begreppet kan också frihet för multinationell produktion (MP) inkluderas. En ny studie, ”Trade, Multinational Production, and Gains from Openness”, av Natalia Ramondo och Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, undersöker hur stora vinsterna är av öppenhet för handel och multinationella företag:

Our results suggest that the gains from openness are much higher than the gains from trade: the average OECD country’s real income is 15% higher thanks to the joint gains from trade and MP compared to isolation (i.e., no trade and no MP). In contrast, shutting down trade would lead to real income losses of only 3% for the average OECD country. The difference between these two numbers arises due to the large gains from MP in our estimated model: shutting down MP would lead to losses of 9% for the average OECD country. Of course, these gains and losses are much higher for smaller countries. For example, gains from openness are 30% for Belgium whereas they are only 5% for the United States. As a small country, Belgium benefits greatly both from trade and MP, although the gains from MP almost double those from trade.

Ekonomisk öppenhet i båda formerna förefaller alltså synnerligen viktiga för förmågan att skapa välstånd; intressant nog förefaller dessutom handel och MP vara komplement till varandra. De tecken på protektionism som kan skönjas i krisens spår kan visa sig bli mycket kostsamma.