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Three Decades of Italian Comparative Advantages

  • Luca De Benedictis

This paper explores the structure of Italian revealed comparative advantages (RCA), focusing on the export structure itself, on its changes over time and on its degree of persistence. The analysis is developed with the use of visual statistical tools and non-parametric statistical techniques that allow to estimate the empirical distribution of the Balassa (1965) index, and to track its dynamics during three decades, from the 1970s to the present. The main results of the analysis are that the structure of Italian RCA is highly persistent, but is changing; the structure is very different when it is examined at a macro-regional level; the distribution is not so similar to the one of the new industrialised countries, when it is examined at a high level of sectoral disaggregation. Finally, the persistence in the pattern of RCA appears to be positively related to the presence of industrial districts in export data disaggregated at the provincial level. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2005.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal World Economy.

Volume (Year): 28 (2005)
Issue (Month): 11 (November)
Pages: 1679-1709

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Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:28:y:2005:i:11:p:1679-1709
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