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The revealed competitiveness of U.S. exports

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Author Info

  • Massimo Del Gatto
  • Filippo di Mauro
  • Joseph Gruber
  • Benjamin R. Mandel

Abstract

The U.S. share of world merchandise exports has declined sharply over the last decade. Using data at the level of detailed industries, this paper analyzes the decline in U.S. share against the backdrop of alternative measures of the competitiveness of the U.S. economy. We document the following facts: (i) only a few industries contributed to the decline in any meaningful way, (ii) a large part of the drop was driven by the changing size of U.S. export industries and not the size of U.S. sales within those industries, (iii) in a gravity framework, the majority of the decline in the U.S. export share within industries was due to the declining U.S. share of world income, and (iv) in a computed structural measure of firm productivity, average U.S. export productivity has generally maintained its high level versus other countries over time. Overall, our analysis suggests that the dismal performance of the U.S. market share is not a sufficient statistic for competitiveness.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 1026.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:1026

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Keywords: Exports - United States ; Industrial Productivity - United States ; Competition;

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References

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  1. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Melitz, Marc, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Scholarly Articles 3229096, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Gregory Corocs & Massimo Del Gatto & Giordano Mion & G.I.P. Ottaviano, 2009. "Productivity and Firm Selection: Quantifying the "New" Gains from Trade," SERC Discussion Papers 0028, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  3. Natalie Chen & Dennis Novy, 2009. "International Trade Integration: A Disaggregated Approach," CEP Discussion Papers dp0908, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Thierry Mayer & Keith Head & John Ries, 2008. "The Erosion of Colonial Trade Linkages after Independence," Working Papers 2008-27, CEPII research center.
  5. Michael E. Waugh, 2010. "International Trade and Income Differences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2093-2124, December.
  6. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2000. "Non-Europe: The magnitude and causes of market fragmentation in the EU," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 136(2), pages 284-314, June.
  7. 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.
  8. DEL GATTO, Massimo & MION, Giordano & OTTAVIANO, Gianmarco I.P., 2006. "Trade integration, firm selection and the costs of non-Europe," CORE Discussion Papers 2006061, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  9. Dennis Novy, 2011. "Gravity Redux: Measuring International Trade Costs with Panel Data," CESifo Working Paper Series 3616, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Fadinger, Harald & Fleiss, Pablo, 2008. "Trade and Sectoral Productivity," MPRA Paper 6938, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. John Whalley & Xian Xin, 2007. "Regionalization, Changes in Home Bias, and the Growth of World Trade," NBER Working Papers 13023, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Daria Taglioni & Filippo di Mauro, 2009. "The euro and the competitiveness of European firms," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 24, pages 5-53, 01.
  13. David S. Jacks & Christopher M. Meissner & Dennis Novy, 2008. "Trade Costs, 1870-2000," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 529-34, May.
  14. Martin, Philippe & Mayer, Thierry & Thoenig, Mathias, 2005. "Make trade not war ?," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 0515, CEPREMAP.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. J. David Richardson & Asha Sundaram, 2013. "Sizing Up US Export Disincentives for a New Generation of National-Security Export Controls," Policy Briefs PB13-13, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  2. Del Gatto, Massimo & di Mauro, Filippo & Gruber, Joseph & Mandel, Benjamin, 2012. "The structural determinants of the US competitiveness in the last decades: a "trade-revealing" analysis," Working Paper Series 1443, European Central Bank.
  3. Daniel de Munnik & Jocelyn Jacob & Wesley Sze, 2012. "The Evolution of Canada’s Global Export Market Share," Working Papers 12-31, Bank of Canada.

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