International Economics and Economic Policy

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 549–567 | Cite as

Special economic zones and growth in China and India: an empirical investigation

  • Chee Kian LeongEmail author
Original Paper


This paper investigates the role of special economic zones (SEZs) in liberalizing the Chinese and Indian economies and their impact on economic growth. The policy change to a more liberalized economy is identified using SEZ variables as instrumental variables. The results indicate that export and FDI growth have positive and statistically significant effects on economic growth in these countries. The presence of SEZs increases regional growth but increasing the number of SEZs has negligible effect on growth. The key to faster economic growth appears to be a greater pace of liberalization.


Special economic zones (SEZs) Openness Economic growth Asia China India 



I am grateful to Yothin Jinjarak and Jinyu for their help on the data sources. I would like to thank Kang Chen, Rajeh Mehta, conference and seminar participants at the DEGIT conference, the University of Melbourne, Singapore Economic Review Conference and Nanyang Technological University for their insightful comments and suggestions. I am deeply appreciative of the invaluable insights and suggestions of anonymous referees, which have improved the paper considerably.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of EconomicsUniversity of Nottingham, NingboNingboChina

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