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Italian agri-food exports in the international arena

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  • Carbone, Anna
  • Henke, Roberto
  • Pozzolo, Alberto Franco

Abstract

We study the performance of the so called Made in Italy agri-food exports over the last fifteen years, merging the strand of analysis that estimated price and demand elasticities with that considering more explicitly the role of product quality. We proceed in three steps. First, we estimate the elasticities of exports with respect to world imports, export prices and the competitors? prices, both at aggregate and product level. Second, we calculate an index of sophistication capturing the position of each product in different layers of world markets. Finally, we compare the outcomes of the estimates of the long-run elasticities with the changes in sophistication levels. The picture we got is a coherent synthesis of the tendencies and forces shaping world competition in the agri-food sector. Our results show that the strategy of Italian exporters varies according to the type of product and to the degree of market completion. In some cases, Italian exports contrast increasing world competition by increasing quality levels (i.e. their sophistication content); in other cases, price competition is chosen by keeping average unit values at lower levels than those of the competitors. All considered, in many cases, these strategies are successful in allowing Italy to defend and sometimes even to increase its positions in the world markets, in spite of a growing world competition.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Molise, Dept. EGSeI in its series Economics & Statistics Discussion Papers with number esdp14072.

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Date of creation: 11 Mar 2014
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Handle: RePEc:mol:ecsdps:esdp14072

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Keywords: export elasticities; export sophistication; Made in Italy; world demand;

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  1. Asier Minondo, 2010. "Exports' quality-adjusted productivity and economic growth," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 257-287.
  2. Ricardo Hausmann & Jason Hwang & Dani Rodrik, 2005. "What You Export Matters," NBER Working Papers 11905, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Devadoss, Stephen & Meyers, William H. & Helmar, Michael D., 1988. "Export Demand Elasticity: Measurement and Implications for U.S. Exports," Staff General Research Papers 10896, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. Rodrik, Dani, 2006. "What's So Special about China's Exports?," Working Paper Series rwp06-001, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  5. Michele Di Maio & Federico Tamagni, 2008. "The Evolution of World Export Sophistication and the Italian Trade Anomaly," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 98(1), pages 135-174, January-F.
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  7. Carbone, Anna & Henke, Roberto, 2012. "Sophistication and Performance of Italian Agri-food Exports," International Journal on Food System Dynamics, International Center for Management, Communication, and Research, vol. 3(1).
  8. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  9. Lall, Sanjaya & Weiss, John & Zhang, Jinkang, 2006. "The "sophistication" of exports: A new trade measure," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 222-237, February.
  10. Antimiani, Alessandro & Henke, Roberto, 2006. "Old and new partners: similarity and competition in the EU foreign trade," 98th Seminar, June 29-July 2, 2006, Chania, Crete, Greece 10082, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  11. Catherine L. Mann & Katharina Plück, 2007. "Understanding the U.S. Trade Deficit: A Disaggregated Perspective," NBER Chapters, in: G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment, pages 247-282 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Paola Monti, 2005. "Caratteristiche e mutamenti della specializzazione delle esportazioni italiane," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 559, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  13. Sawyer, W. Charles & Sprinkle, Richard L., 1997. "The Demand for Imports and Exports in Japan: A Survey," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 247-259, June.
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