Overall, the results showed that growth in real exports does cause real GDP growth.
I focus here on all countries with data over the period The Review of Economic Studies, 83 1 In a similar way, if we look at country-level data from the last half century we find that there is also a correlation between economic growth and trade: countries with higher rates of GDP growth also tend to have higher rates of growth in trade as a share of output.
You can find a similar chart using different data sources and time periods in Ventura, J. Handbook of economic growth, 1, This is a classic example of the so-called instrumental variable approach.
Some key references here are: — Pavcnik, N. These studies also find that trade liberalization has led to growth in the productivity of firms. This basic correlation is shown in the chart below, where I plot average annual change in real GDP per capita, against growth in trade average annual change in value of exports as a share of GDP.