THE THREE-WAY LINKAGES BETWEEN EXPORT, IMPORT AND ECONOMIC GROWTH: NEW EVIDENCE FROM TUNISIA
This study investigates the nexus between exports, imports and economic growth in Tunisia using annual time series data for the period 1965 - 2016 by implementing cointegration analysis and vector error correction model. The empirical results show that in the long run (i) exports affect negatively on economic growth, (ii) imports have positive effect on economic growth, (iii) economic growth have positive effect on exports, and imports have positive effect on exports. However in the short run empirical results show that there is (i) bi-directional causal relationship between exports and economic growth, (ii) uni-directional causal relationship from exports to imports, (iii) uni-directional causal relationship from imports to economic growth. These results provide evidence that imports and exports are necessary in Tunisia's economy and are presented as an engine of growth since they cause economic growth in the short term. But exports are not carried out and treated with a solid and fair manner according to their negative effect on economic growth in the long run, which offer new insights into Tunisia’s openness policy for promoting economic growth.