Exports and Economic Development of Less Developed Countries

  • Hla Myint
Part of the International Economic Association Series book series (IEA)


The question of how far exports, particularly primary exports, are capable of providing the underdeveloped countries with a satisfactory basis of economic development has been extensively discussed during the last two decades and may still be regarded as something of an open question. Prima facie the broad facts relating to the export and development experiences of these countries during the period seem to support those who advocated policies of freer trade and export expansion rather than those who advocated policies of protection and import-substitution. Thus, despite the ‘export pessimism’ of the latter, which persisted well into the 1960s, the period 1950–70 has turned out to be a period of very rapid expansion in world trade and those underdeveloped countries which responded to the buoyant world market conditions have been able to expand their exports rapidly, typically above 5 per cent per annum. This export expansion included not only the primary exports produced by the large mining and plantation enterprises, but also those produced by the small peasant farmers. In addition, a smaller group of countries have expanded their exports of manufactured and semi-processed products. Furthermore, the countries which expanded their exports have also tended to enjoy rapid economic development and significant correlations have been found between the growth of export and the growth of national income among the underdeveloped countries by cross-section studies; by time-series studies; or by a combination of both methods (Emery, 1967, Maizels, 1968, Kravis, 1970a and 1970b and Chenery, 1971).


Capital Good Underdeveloped Country Traditional Sector Direct Gain Export Expansion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Allen, G. C., and A. Donnithorne, Western Enterprise in Indonesia and Malaya ( Allen & Unwin, London, 1954 ).Google Scholar
  2. Balassa, B., ‘Trade Policies in Developing Countries’, American Economic Review, May 1971.Google Scholar
  3. Bhagwati, J., and A. Krueger., ‘Exchange Control, Liberalisation and Economic Development’, American Economic Review, May 1973.Google Scholar
  4. Bruton, H. J., ‘Productivity Growth in Latin America’, American Economic Review, December 1967.Google Scholar
  5. Cairncross, A. K., Factors in Economic Development (Allen & Unwin, London, 1962) ch. 4.Google Scholar
  6. Chenery, H. B., ‘Growth and Structural Change’, Finance and Development Quarterly, vol. 8, no. 3, 1971.Google Scholar
  7. Chenery, H. B., ‘Transitional Growth and World Industrialisation’, Nobel Symposium on the International Allocation of Economic Activity, Stockholm, 1976Google Scholar
  8. Corden, W. M., ‘The Costs and Consequences of Protection. A Survey of Empirical Work’, in Peter B. Kenen, ed., International Trade and Finance: Frontiers for Research (Cambridge University Press, 1975 ).Google Scholar
  9. De Vries, B. A., The Export Experience of Developing Countries, World Bank Staff Occasional Papers, No. 3 (Washington, 1976 ).Google Scholar
  10. Emery, R. F., ‘The Relation of Exports to Economic Growth’, Kyklos, vol. 20, fasc. 2 (1967).Google Scholar
  11. Findlay, R., International Trade and Development Theory (Columbia University Press, 1973) ch. 10.Google Scholar
  12. Harberger, A. C., ‘Using the Resources at Hand More Effectively’, American Economic Review, Proceedings, May 1959.Google Scholar
  13. Hicks, J. R., Essays in World Economics (Oxford University Press, 1960) ch. 8.Google Scholar
  14. Johnson, H. G., ‘The Possibility of Income Losses from Increased Efficiency or Factor Accumulation in the Presence of Tariffs’, Economic Journal, March 1967.Google Scholar
  15. Jones, W. O., Marketing Staple Food Crops in Tropical Africa (Cornell University Press, 1972) ch. 9.Google Scholar
  16. Kindleberger, C. P., ‘Foreign Trade and Economic Growth: Lessons from Britain and France, 1850–1913’, The Economic History Review, Vol. XIV, no. 2, 1961.Google Scholar
  17. Kravis, I. B., ‘Trade as a Handmaiden of Growth: Similarities between the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries’, Economic Journal, December 1970.Google Scholar
  18. Kravis, I. B., ‘External Demand and Internal Supply Factors in LDC Export Performance’, Banco Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, June 1970.Google Scholar
  19. Lewis, W. A., ‘Aspects of Tropical Trade, 1883–1965’, Wicksell lectures 1969, Stockholm.Google Scholar
  20. Little, I., T. Scitovsky and M. Scott, Industry and Trade in Some Developing Countries, A Comparative Study (Oxford University Press, 1970).Google Scholar
  21. Little, I., and J. Mirrlees, Project Appraisal and Planning for Developing Countries ( Heinemann, London, 1974 ).Google Scholar
  22. Maizels, A., Exports and Economic Growth of Developing Countries (Cambridge University Press, 1968 ).Google Scholar
  23. Meier, G. M., Leading Issues in Economic Development, second edition, (Oxford University Press, 1970 ) p. 37.Google Scholar
  24. Myint, H., ‘The “Classical” Theory of International Trade and the Underdeveloped Countries’, Economic Journal, June 1958.Google Scholar
  25. Myint, H., ‘International Trade and The Developing Countries’ in P. A. Samuelson (ed.), International Economic Relations ( Macmillan, London, 1969 ).Google Scholar
  26. Myint, H., South East Asia’s Economy: Development Policies in the 1970s, ( Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1972 ).Google Scholar
  27. Porter, R., ‘Some Implications of Post-war Primary Product Trends’, Journal of Political Economy, May—June 1970.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Economic Association 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hla Myint
    • 1
  1. 1.London School of EconomicsUK

Personalised recommendations