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On the Dynamics of Trade Patterns

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Author Info

  • Andrea Brasili

    (Banca Intesa)

  • Paolo Epifani

    (Bocconi University CESPRI)

  • Rodolfo Helg

    (Cattaneo University LIUC)

Abstract

In this paper we analyse the dynamics of trade patterns in the six largest industrialised countries and in eight fast growing Asian economies. For each of these countries we study the shape of the sectoral distribution of an index of trade specialisation and its evolution over time. Our analysis shows a marked difference between the advanced and the emerging countries as far as the degree of persistence is concerned: the former have in fact a highly persistent trade pattern, whereas the latter show a rapidly changing trade specialisation. However, the two groups of countries are more similar as far as the evolution of the degree of specialisation is concerned: although emerging countries are still more specialised than the industrialised countries, both groups show a tendency toward a reduced polarisation and a more symmetric distribution of the specialisation index. This evidence is in line with the traditional trade theory, in which changing comparative advantage is the determinant of a changing trade pattern. On the contrary, this evidence does not support the idea that self- reinforcing mechanisms are prominent in international trade specialisation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series International Trade with number 0004006.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 27 Aug 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpit:0004006

Note: Type of Document - Acrobat PDF; prepared on IBM PC ; to print on HP/PostScript/Franciscan monk; pages: 33 ; figures: included
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

Related research

Keywords: trade patterns; trade specialisation; comparative advantages; stochastic kernels;

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References

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