The Impact of Trade Liberalization on Import Demand

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(with D. Thomakos), Journal of Economic and Social Research2002, vol. 4:1, pp. 1-26.

In this paper, we empirically analyze the effects of trade reforms on import demand and derive their implications on economic development in Turkey, a country that underwent sudden and substantial trade liberalization in the mid-1980s.  The tool for this analysis is the estimation of disaggregated import demand elasticities.  The adoption of a more liberal trade regime as well as radical attempts to foster economic development make the Turkish experience particularly interesting for analysis.  Almost all of our elasticities are significantly estimated, unlike those of most previous studies in the literature on other countries.  We test for different elasticities over “closed” and “open” economy periods, and find that the effects of the trade reforms of the 1980s were significant for a number of industries that form the backbone of the Turkish economy.  We also compare our results with elasticity estimates from past studies for developed countries.

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