The Inverse Domino Effect: Are Economic Reforms Contagious?*

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This article examines whether a country's economic reforms are affected by reforms adopted by other countries. Our theoretical model predicts that reforms are more likely when factors of production are internationally mobile and reforms are pursued in other economies. Using the change in the Index of Economic Freedom as the measure of market-liberalizing reforms and panel data (144 countries, 1995-2006), we test our model. We find evidence of the spillover of reforms. Moreover, consistent with our model, international trade isnota vehicle for the diffusion of economic reforms; rather the most important mechanism is geographical or cultural proximity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Economic Review
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)183-200
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 24.02.2011
Externally publishedYes