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The Chinese Export Bundles - Patterns, Puzzles and Possible Explanations

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  • Zhi Wang

    (Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations)

  • Shang-Jin Wei

Abstract

Chinas exports have become increasingly sophisticated. This has generated anxiety in developed countries as the competitive pressure may be increasingly felt outside labor-intensive industries. Using product-level data on exports from different cities within China, this paper investigates the contributing factors to the rising export sophistication. Somewhat surprisingly, neither processing trade nor foreign invested firms are found to play an important role in generating the increased overlap in the export structure between China and high-income countries. Instead, improvement in human capital and government policies in the form of tax-favored high-tech zones appear to be the key in the countrys evolving export structure. On the other hand, processing trade, foreign invested firms, and government-sponsored high-tech zones all have contributed significantly to raising the unit values of Chinas exports within a given product category.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by East Asian Bureau of Economic Research in its series Macroeconomics Working Papers with number 22275.

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Date of creation: Jan 2008
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Handle: RePEc:eab:macroe:22275

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Related research

Keywords: China; India; Export sophistication; Export structure; high-tech zones; Human Capital;

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References

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  1. Ricardo Hausmann & Jason Hwang & Dani Rodrik, 2007. "What you export matters," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 1-25, March.
  2. Dani Rodrik, 2006. "What's So Special about China's Exports?," NBER Working Papers 11947, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Zhi Wang & Shang-Jin Wei, 2010. "What Accounts for the Rising Sophistication of China's Exports?," NBER Chapters, in: China's Growing Role in World Trade, pages 63-104 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Lionel Fontagné & Guillaume Gaulier & Soledad Zignago, 2008. "Specialization across varieties and North-South competition," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 23, pages 51-91, 01.
  5. Peter K. Schott, 2006. "The Relative Sophistication of Chinese Exports," NBER Working Papers 12173, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Galina Hale & Cheryl Long, 2006. "What Determines Technological Spillovers of Foreign Direct Investment: Evidence from China," Working Papers, Economic Growth Center, Yale University 934, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  7. Robert Koopman & Zhi Wang & Shang-Jin Wei, 2008. "How Much of Chinese Exports is Really Made In China? Assessing Domestic Value-Added When Processing Trade is Pervasive," NBER Working Papers 14109, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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