Do Austerity Measures Harm International Trade?

 

Abstract:
This paper focuses on the trade relations between Romania and the PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Spain) in order to verify whether the exports of Romania have been positively or negatively affected by the austerity measures adopted by these Eurozone periphery countries, thus diminishing Romania’s export performance in such markets. Hence, our main research question is whether austerity measures harm or affect in any way the inflows and outflows of inter national trade in the studied countries. To assess this hypothesis, we focused on the external trade relations, and their linkages with the macroeconomic environment, rather than the competitiveness of a state explained by a detailed sectoral analysis. In this respect, we use comparative and prescriptive statistics in order to observe the consequences of the internal devaluation, and implicitly austerity measures, on the PIIGS-Romanian trade relations. Our findings suggest that the effects of austerity measures are not homogenous because they depend on the scale of trade exchanges and on the way in which the austerity measures were applied.

 

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