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The anatomy of China's export growth

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  • Amiti, Mary
  • Freund, Caroline

Abstract

Decomposing China's real export growth, of over 500 percent since 1992,reveals a number of interesting findings. First, China's export structure changed dramatically, with growing export shares in electronics and machinery and a decline in agriculture and apparel. Second, despite the shift into these more sophisticated products, the skill content of China's manufacturing exports remained unchanged, once processing trade is excluded. Third, export growth was accompanied by increasing specialization and was mainly accounted for by high export growth of existing products (the intensive margin) rather than in new varieties (the extensive margin). Fourth, consistent with an increased world supply of existing varieties, China's export prices to the United States fell by an average of 1.5 percent per year between 1997 and 2005, while export prices of these products from the rest of the world to the United States increased by 0.4 percent annually over the same period.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4628.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2008
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4628

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Keywords: Economic Theory&Research; Free Trade; Trade Policy; Emerging Markets; Debt Markets;

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  1. Jean Imbs & Romain Wacziarg, 2003. "Stages of Diversification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 63-86, March.
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  3. David Weinstein & Christian Broda, 2004. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," 2004 Meeting Papers 530, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  9. Timothy J. Kehoe & Kim J. Ruhl, 2006. "How Important is the New Goods Margin in International Trade?," 2006 Meeting Papers 733, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Zhu, Susan Chun & Trefler, Daniel, 2005. "Trade and inequality in developing countries: a general equilibrium analysis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 21-48, January.
  11. Russell Hillberry & Christine McDaniel, 2003. "A Decomposition of North American Trade Growth since NAFTA," International Trade 0303003, EconWPA.
  12. Robert C. Feenstra & Hiau Looi Kee, 2007. "Trade Liberalisation and Export Variety: A Comparison of Mexico and China," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(1), pages 5-21, 01.
  13. Costas Arkolakis, 2007. "Market Access Costs and the New Consumers Margin in International Trade," 2007 Meeting Papers 234, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  15. Judith M. Dean & K. C. Fung & Zhi Wang, 2011. "Measuring Vertical Specialization: The Case of China," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(4), pages 609-625, 09.
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