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Theoretical and Applied Economics
No. 2 / 2017 (611), Summer

Economic freedom, economic growth and international tourism for post-communist (transition) countries: A panel causality analysis

Ceyhun Can OZCAN
Necmettin Erbakan University, Konya, Turkey
Murat ASLAN
Yildirim Beyazit University, Ankara, Turkey
Saban NAZLIOGLU
Pamukkale University, Denizli, Turkey

Abstract. This paper examines the causal relationship between economic freedom and foreign tourist arrivals for 17 post-socialist transition countries during the period from 1996 to 2012. We employ the recently introduced panel Granger causality approach that is flexible enough to take account of both cross-country correlation and heterogeneity across the countries. The empirical results support the evidence on (i) the neutrality between economic freedom-economic growth and between economic growth-international tourism with few exceptions and (ii) the causality from economic freedom to tourism in six out of seventeen transition economies. Post-socialist countries are still in the process of integrating into the market economic system and also the global system; and consequently, the results of the current study are heavily shaped by the historical backgrounds and also the infancy of the transition process of these nations.

Keywords: economic freedom, foreign tourism, economic growth, transition countries, panel causality.

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