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This paper explores the relationship between trade openness and economic growth through a change in institutions. To do so, the paper creates a theory of endogenous institutional change where there are three social groups; each one owns a specific production factor. An ellite (landowners) controlling the political power fix higher taxes to extract rents from the other groups of the society (capitalists). This reduces investment in capital, the source for endogenous growth. Endogenous institutional change is done by allowing the rival group (capitalists) to invest in a military action which expels out the group in power. The model studies optimal taxation, growth and institutional change under two scenarios, autarky and free trade.
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