Do open economies grow faster than closed economies? Almost all empirical studies have provided an affirmative answer to this question. It is, however, very difficult to understand this unconditional optimism in favor of liberalization among the economics profession and in policy circles. Theoretical studies suggest at best a very complex and an ambiguous relationship between restrictions on capital and trade flows and growth. The fact that empirical studies also describe openness very differently makes the classification of countries according to their level of openness a formidable task. Our estimation results for trade and capital flows are generally consistent with the existing empirical and theoretical studies. However, the estimation results for trade barriers challenge the conventional view on the issue that trade barriers are negatively and significantly associated with growth, but they are consistent with findings of theoretical growth and development literature. Thus, we show that openness does not have a simple and straightforward relationship with growth. Rather this relationship largely depends on certain country characteristics such as its size and development level.