Are export promotion policies enough? A focus on infrastructure and export sector performance

Laurel Althea Adams, University of Pennsylvania


The stellar economic growth performance of the newly industrializing countries widely thought to be the result of phenomenal export earnings growth has resulted in the universal recommendation that other developing economies should likewise follow a export led strategy in order to repeat the growth experience of the Asian super exporters. But, if other developing countries are to repeat the phenomenal export earnings growth experienced by the NICs, then it is first necessary to understand the factors which resulted in export earnings growth so that these factors can be replicated in other economies. This thesis tackles this most difficult task. In tackling this task, this thesis does not dispute the accepted wisdom that export promotion policies are important. Its purpose is to question the notion that export promotion policies are by themselves, sufficient to result in sustainable export earnings growth. This challenge implies that export promotion policies must be accompanied by other factors to ensure that export aspirations are achieved. The complement to export promotion policies that this thesis focuses on is infrastructure for very compelling reasons. And although the literature alludes to the importance of infrastructure in a successful export promotion drive, this one facet of successful export expansion is never fully explored. The theoretical models presented in this thesis begin to fill this gap. In the first model, new technologies are associated with a minimum infrastructure requirement for productive use. In the second, trade cannot occur in the absence of some minimum infrastructure level. Both of these chapters find that countries desiring to expand export earnings must devote resources to maintaining and developing their infrastructure in order to help ensure the success of their export ambitions. The use of theoretical models to analyze the export sector represents a departure from the two country group comparison which dominates the literature. Of such, this thesis marks the beginning of a framework which is essential in order to understand and ultimately replicate the experience of the NICs elsewhere.

Subject Area

Economics|International law|International relations

Recommended Citation

Adams, Laurel Althea, "Are export promotion policies enough? A focus on infrastructure and export sector performance" (1993). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9413787.