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The structural determinants of the US competitiveness in the last decades: a "trade-revealing" analysis

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  • Del Gatto, Massimo
  • di Mauro, Filippo
  • Gruber, Joseph
  • Mandel, Benjamin

Abstract

We analyze the decline in the U.S. share of world merchandise exports against the backdrop of a model-based measure of competitiveness. We preliminarily use constant market share analysis and gravity estimations to show that the majority of the decline in export shares can be associated with a declining share of world income, suggesting that the dismal performance of the U.S. market share is not a sufficient statistic for competitiveness. We then derive a computable measure of country-sector specific real marginal costs (i.e. competitiveness) which, insofar it is inferred from actual trade ows, is referred to as 'revealed'. Brought to the data, this measure reveals that most U.S. manufacturing industries are losing momentum relative to their main competitors, as we find U.S. revealed marginal costs to grow by more than 38% on average. At the sectoral level, the "Machinery" industry is the most critical. JEL Classification: F12, F17, F19

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1443.

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Date of creation: Jun 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20121443

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Related research

Keywords: competitiveness; export shares; Firm heterogeneity; firm selection; Gravity Equation; marginal costs; productivity; Trade Costs;

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References

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  1. Andrea Finicelli & Patrizio Pagano & Massimo Sbracia, 2009. "Trade-Revealed TFP," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 729, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  2. Dennis Novy, 2013. "Gravity Redux: Measuring International Trade Costs With Panel Data," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 101-121, 01.
  3. Robert C. Feenstra & Robert E. Lipsey & Haiyan Deng & Alyson C. Ma & Hengyong Mo, 2005. "World Trade Flows: 1962-2000," NBER Working Papers 11040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Michael E. Waugh, 2009. "International trade and income differences," Staff Report 435, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Martin, Philippe & Mayer, Thierry & Thoenig, Mathias, 2005. "Make Trade not War?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5218, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Massimo Del Gatto & Giordano Mion & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2006. "Trade Integration, Firm Selection and the Costs of Non-Europe," Development Working Papers 218, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  7. Gregory Corcos & Massimo Del Gatto & Giordano Mion & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2009. "Productivity and Firm Selection: Quantifying the "New" Gains from Trade," KITeS Working Papers 002, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Mar 2009.
  8. M. Del Gatto & F. Di Mauro & J. Gruber & B. Mandel, 2012. "The “Revealed” Competitiveness of U.S. Exports," Working Paper CRENoS 201232, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  9. Harald Fadinger & Pablo Fleiss, 2008. "Trade and Sectoral Productivity," Working Papers ECARES 2008_005, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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Cited by:
  1. Bernard M. Hoekman, 2013. "Global Governance of International Competitiveness Spillovers," RSCAS Working Papers 2013/33, European University Institute.

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