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International specialization models in Latin America: the case of Argentina

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  • Paola Caselli

    ()
    (Bank of Italy)

  • Andrea Zaghini

    ()
    (Bank of Italy)

Abstract

The paper compares the Argentine specialization model with that of the other major Latin American countries. Given the lack of production data at disaggregate level, we rely on trade flow information from the WTA Statistics Canada database (3-digit SITC classification), available for most Latin American countries for a rather long time span (1980-2000). Our analysis, based on the Lafay Index of international specialization, shows that Argentina concentrates its comparative advantages in raw materials, agricultural and food products and exhibits, at the same time, serious deficiencies in the production of manufactures. This specialization pattern has remained remarkably stable over the last two decades, in spite of the major reforms implemented in many different fields. These features are shared with the other major Latin American countries, with the notable exception of Mexico, whose comparative advantages have changed dramatically in the same period, from raw materials (essentially oil) towards manufactures. Moreover, the products in which Argentina is specialized are among those for which world demand growth is structurally lower; this could eventually lead to a decreasing weight of Argentina in international markets.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) with number 558.

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Date of creation: Jun 2005
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Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_558_05

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Keywords: International trade; specialization model; revealed comparative advantages;

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References

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  1. Redding, Stephen, 2002. "Specialization dynamics," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 299-334, December.
  2. Dorrucci, Ettore & Firpo, Stefano & Mongelli, Francesco Paolo & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2002. "European integration: what lessons for other regions? The case of Latin America," Working Paper Series 0185, European Central Bank.
  3. Jeffrey A. Frankel & David Romer & Teresa Cyrus, 1995. "Trade and growth in East Asian countries: cause and effect?," Pacific Basin Working Paper Series 95-03, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  4. Andrea Brasili & Paolo Epifani & Rodolfo Helg, 2000. "On the Dynamics of Trade Patterns," International Trade 0004006, EconWPA.
  5. Chiara Bentivogli & Paola Monti, 2001. "International Transmission Via Trade Links: Theoretically Consistent Indicators of Interdependence for Latin America and South-East Asia," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 410, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  6. Proudman, James & Redding, Stephen, 2000. "Evolving Patterns of International Trade," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(3), pages 373-96, August.
  7. Ricardo J. Caballero, 2000. "Macroeconomic Volatility in Latin America: A View and Three Case Studies," NBER Working Papers 7782, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Diana Weinhold & James Rauch, 1997. "Openness, Specialization, and Productivity Growth in Less Developed Countries," NBER Working Papers 6131, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Matteo Bugamelli, 2001. "Il modello di specializzazione internazionale dell'Italia e dei principali paesi europei: omogeneità e convergenza," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 402, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
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Cited by:
  1. Finicelli, Andrea & Sbracia, Massimo & Zaghini, Andrea, 2008. "A disaggregated analysis of the export performance of some industrial and emerging countries," MPRA Paper 11000, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Andrea Zaghini, 2006. "Commercial Specialisation in the Countries of Central-Eastern Europe," QA - Rivista dell'Associazione Rossi-Doria, Associazione Rossi Doria, issue 3, July.
  3. Andrea Zaghini, 2005. "Evolution of trade patterns in the new EU member states," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 568, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.

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