Myanmar’s Non-Resource Export Potential after the Lifting of Economic Sanctions: A Gravity Model Analysis

Discussion Papers


by KUBO Koji

August 2013 (Revised in August 2014)


Easing of economic sanctions by Western countries in 2012 augmented the prospect that Myanmar will expand its exports. On the other hand, a sharp rise in natural resource exports during the sanctions brings in a concern about the “Dutch disease”. This study projects Myanmar’s export potential by calculating counterfactual export values with an augmented gravity model that takes into account the effects of natural resource exports on non-resource exports. Without taking into account the effects of natural resource exports, the counterfactual predicted values of non-resource exports during 2004–2011 are more than five times larger than the actual exports. If we take into account the effects, however, the predicted values are smaller than the actual exports. The empirical results imply that the “Dutch disease” is at stake in Myanmar than any other Southeast Asian countries.

Keywords: Myanmar, Economic sanctions, Gravity model, Dutch disease
JEL classification: F14, F17, F51, O53

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