Why has Ireland grown so much more rapidly than Greece? Let me suggest one possible answer: Foreign trade is important to these small economies on the periphery of Europe, and Irish exports have grown by leaps and bounds while Greek exports have been rather sluggish. Specifically, the ratio of exports of goods and services to GDP in Ireland rose from 30 percent in 1960 to 90 percent in 1999, while the Greek export ratio rose from 10 percent to 20 percent in the same period. Openness is good for growth.
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