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Assesses economic openness in various countries and regional entities with emphasis on non-tariff barriers, employing three methods: (1) a microeconomic method--using a new survey research instrument that focuses on the ease or difficulty of engaging in trade and investment business in five countries or regions: the United States, Japan, China, South Korea, and Germany as a proxy for the European Union; (2) a micropolitical method--a detailed review of regulations and practices affecting the ease or difficulty of doing business in these countries; and (3) a macroeconomic method--preliminary examination of the relationship between "real" and "nominal" currency values in these same countries. The microeconomic and micropolitical methods yielded closely congruent results. The rankings are: the United States, Germany, Japan, Korea, and China. The openness rankings resulting from the macroeconomic method (i.e., the divergences between real and nominal exchange rates) are not closely correlated with the other results, but the coefficient of concordance among the three sets of rankings is significantly high. The study recommends that more attention be accorded to the views of business practitioners concerning obstacles to doing business and that legal and administrative codes be systematically reviewed and compared to understand the sources of non-tariff barriers and suggest ways to ameliorate them.

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