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Export Specialisation and Local Economic Growth

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  • Wim Naudé
  • Maarten Bosker
  • Marianne Matthee

Abstract

This paper aims to provide empirical evidence on whether export specialization or diversification is better for local economic growth. Using export data from 354 magisterial districts of South Africa for 1996 and 2001 we estimate spatial growth regressions that include measures of the degree of export specialization and diversification. Overall, exporting regions outperform other (less or non‐) exporting regions. Also, we find that export specialisation, rather than export diversification, has been associated with local economic growth; with specialization in mining and agriculture being especially beneficial. Our results support the view that specialization in a locality’s area of comparative advantage is good for local economic development. We also find that localities with higher initial levels of human capital, and higher subsequent population growth, performed better. This is consistent with the belief that policies aimed at strengthening human capital and improving agglomeration economies, will enhance local economic development.

Suggested Citation

  • Wim Naudé & Maarten Bosker & Marianne Matthee, 2010. "Export Specialisation and Local Economic Growth," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(4), pages 552-572, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:33:y:2010:i:4:p:552-572
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9701.2009.01239.x
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    Cited by:

    1. Grundmann, Rainer & Gries, Thomas, 2015. "Crucial for Modern Sector Development? The Role of Exports and Institutions in Developing Countries," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112962, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Ricardo Argüello, 2017. "Trade diversification in Colombia, 1991-2011," Revista Cuadernos de Economía, Universidad Nacional de Colombia -FCE - CID, vol. 36(71), pages 345-378, July.
    3. repec:bof:bofitp:urn:nbn:fi:bof-201505201212 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Gnangnon, Sèna Kimm & Roberts, Michael, 2015. "Aid for trade, foreign direct investment and export upgrading in recipient countries," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2015-10, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    5. Hattendorff, Christian, 2015. "Economic concentration and finance: Evidence from Russian regions," BOFIT Discussion Papers 18/2015, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
    6. Wim Naudé & Riaan Rossouw, 2011. "Export diversification and economic performance: evidence from Brazil, China, India and South Africa," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 99-134, April.
    7. Sergey Kadochnikov & Anna Fedyunina, 2015. "Export Performance and Survival in Russia: Why some Regions grow fast and others don't," FIW Working Paper series 133, FIW.
    8. Ndambendia, Houdou, 2014. "Exports diversification and knowledge sharing from south-south and south-north economic cooperation: evidence from the Central and West Africa," MPRA Paper 71571, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2015.
    9. repec:ere:journl:v:xxxvi:y:2017:i:2:p:147-184 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:wsi:jicepx:v:08:y:2017:i:02:n:s1793993317500107 is not listed on IDEAS

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