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Study of the Measurement and Determinants of Intra-industry Trade in East Asia


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  • Michael Thorpe
  • Zhaoyang Zhang


The present paper investigates the development of intra-industry trade (IIT) among the East Asian economies over the 1970-1996 period. A dynamic index is used to capture the changes in the structure of trade flows. Based on this approach, IIT is decomposed into horizontal (HIIT) and vertical components (VIIT) and the determinants of each are investigated. The results show that both HIIT and VIIT have exhibited increased importance over the sample period in manufacturing. Using pooled panel data the two-way trade in all measures of IIT is found to be positively related to the country-specific variables, such as the market size, exhange rate depreciation, the levels of development and income, and negatively to the geographic proximity of the partners. Economies of scale are seen to have a positive influence on IIT and HIIT, but a negative relationship with VIIT. Although the relative openness of a country's trade regime shows no significant relationship with any form of IIT, a trade imbalance does affect IIT and HIIT flows. The findings have implications for assessing the structural adjustment costs associated with the trade liberalization process as HIIT is associated with demand for variety and relates to two-way trade in goods of similar quality, while VIIT is driven by international specialization and differences in relative factor endowments. Copyright 2005 East Asian Economic Association..

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by East Asian Economic Association in its journal Asian Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 19 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (06)
Pages: 231-247

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Handle: RePEc:bla:asiaec:v:19:y:2005:i:2:p:231-247

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Cited by:
  1. Yose Rizal Damuri & Raymond Atje & Arya B. Gaduh, 2006. "Integration and Trade Specialization in East Asia," CSIS Economics Working Paper Series WPE094, Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Jakarta, Indonesia.
  2. Imre Ferto & Károly Attila Soós, 2012. "Controversial issues in factors determining intra-industry trade," International Journal of Economics and Business Research, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 4(1/2), pages 132-148.
  3. Masanaga Kumakura, 2009. "A note on using Comtrade for empirical trade research," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(2), pages 1330-1344.
  4. Rosanna Pittiglio & Filippo Reganati, 2012. "Vertical intra-industry trade in higher and lower quality: a new approach of measuring country-specific determinants," International Journal of Economics and Business Research, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 4(1/2), pages 44-62.
  5. Maylene Y. Damoense-Azevedo & André C. Jordaan, 2012. "Factors influencing bilateral intra-industry trade in the auto industry: the case of South Africa," International Journal of Economics and Business Research, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 4(1/2), pages 63-82.
  6. Wang Jing & Nuno Carlos Leitão & Horácio C. Faustino, 2010. "Intra-Industry Trade in Agricultural Products: The Case of China," Working Papers Department of Economics 2010/06, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  7. Rosanna Pittiglio, Rosanna, 2008. "The intra-industry trade for a high-income country: new empirical evidence for Italy," SIRE Discussion Papers 2008-17, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  8. Xing, Yuqing, 2007. "Foreign direct investment and China's bilateral intra-industry trade with Japan and the US," BOFIT Discussion Papers 1/2007, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.


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