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Changing Trade Structure and its Implications for Growth

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  • John Weiss
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    Abstract There is a long tradition in the development literature that what a country exports matters for its growth prospects. Recent work has refocused on this issue by attempting to produce numerical scores for different types of product to identify the complexity or sophistication of a country's export basket. Based on the insight that the type of product an economy exports can have important implications for its economic performance and that goods exported predominantly by rich countries will have different characteristics from those exported by poor countries, Lall et al. (2006) put forward a means of classifying commodities based on the income levels of a product's main exporters. At around the same time, Hausmann et al. (2006), following a similar approach, put forward a slightly different form of product classification and Rodrik (2006) applied this specifically to an analysis of China. This paper highlights the difference between the approaches and its implications for the analysis of China, which appears less 'special' using the approach of Lall et al. It argues that the classification of products at a disaggregate level is a helpful starting point for assessing issues of trade competitiveness and that further work using either or both forms of classification is justified. Copyright 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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    Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal World Economy.

    Volume (Year): 33 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 10 (October)
    Pages: 1269-1279

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:33:y:2010:i:10:p:1269-1279
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