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Unit Values, Productivity, and Trade - Determinants of Spanish Export Strength


  • Vollmer Sebastian

    () (Leibniz Universität Hannover)

  • Martínez-Zarzoso Inmaculada

    () (Georg-August Universität Göttingen and Universidad Jaume I)

  • Nowak-Lehmann D. Felicitas

    () (Georg-August Universität Göttingen)


In this paper we assess the current relevance of different sources of international competitiveness. Relative prices, labor costs, and productivity are evaluated as determinants of a country's international competitiveness at the industry level. Working with detailed data on unit values and with industry data on productivity, we empirically implement a MacDougall-type model for Spanish and French trade to Brazil, China, Japan, and the U.S. The period under study is 1980 to 2001 and we distinguish in our analysis between homogenous, reference-priced, and differentiated goods. Our results indicate that cost competitiveness factors are only valid for explaining trade with developing countries while other factors are of importance for developed economies. Overall price competitiveness is of importance, but for differentiated goods, factors distinct from prices seem to determine export success.

Suggested Citation

  • Vollmer Sebastian & Martínez-Zarzoso Inmaculada & Nowak-Lehmann D. Felicitas, 2009. "Unit Values, Productivity, and Trade - Determinants of Spanish Export Strength," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 9(3), pages 1-19, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:glecon:v:9:y:2009:i:3:n:3

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    Cited by:

    1. Azhar A. KM & Elliott Rob J. & Liu Junting, 2012. "Product Quality, Trade, and Adjustment: The China-ASEAN Experience," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 12(2), pages 1-28, June.

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