Based on a demand-side approach, Thirlwall’s law claims that, in the long-run, economic growth is constrained by the balance of payments. Income elasticity of demand for exports should be greater than income elasticity of demand for imports in order to grow faster than the limit imposed by export demand. Accordingly, accurate estimations of income elasticities are necessary to identify these bounds. This research estimates export and import functions using bilateral trade data between Russia and 53 of its major partners. Then, we empirically test the validity of Thirlwall’s law over the years 1996–2016, generalizing Thirlwall’s model in a bilateral panel framework. In addition, export and import functions are estimated taking into account export and import composition, controlling for key sectoral effects on aggregate elasticities. Using dynamic panel data models, the findings suggest that, on average, the Russian economy has been growing faster than what Thirlwall’s law predicts. The sectoral composition of the Russian external sector has eased the external constraint to growth. Russian exports still significantly consist of oil and gas, price inelastic goods, with positive effects on trade balance over the period of study. However, in a transition toward green energies, the allocation and investment of exports revenues is a key factor to address future scenarios where carbon-based resources lose relevance.
|Number of pages||18|
|Journal||HSE Economic Journal|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|