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Industry or Services: The European Specialization Dilemma


  • Colette Herzog
  • Deniz Ünal


Since 2000; international trade has been characterized by a strong demand for primary products; an acceleration of exports from large emerging countries and a rise in trade in services under the leadership of developed countries. How did European specialization evolve in such environment? Europe turns out to have strengthened its tertiary specialization while keeping a strong industrial positioning; in this respect; it stands between the United States and Japan. Further analysis of European countries' comparative advantages shows a great diversity and significant recomposition over the past decade. While most; countries within the European Union maintain a solid industrial specialization and/or have reinforced their specialization in new services; the comparative advantages of some member States are still concentrated in traditional services with a weak growth potential.

Suggested Citation

  • Colette Herzog & Deniz Ünal, 2011. "Industry or Services: The European Specialization Dilemma," La Lettre du CEPII, CEPII research center, issue 317.
  • Handle: RePEc:cii:cepill:2011-317

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    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries


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