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Developing Countries' Increasing Weight in World Trade, Openness, and Convergence


  • Francisco Alcalá

    () (Universidad de Murcia, Ivie, and CEPR)

  • Marta Solaz

    () (Ivie and Universitat de Valéncia)


Over approximately the last two decades, developing countries have substantially increased their weight in global markets. This process is a defining feature of the recent economic globalization and has significantly affected output and employment across countries. To measure and analyze this process from a long-run perspective, we introduce the exporters' relative average income indicator and show how this indicator can be broken down into an openness-income correlation component and a cross-country income inequality component. We use this indicator to study the timing, intensity, and proximate determinants of the changes in the relative weight of richer and poorer countries in international trade over the 1961-2014 period. We also assess the extent to which the recent changes are due to the extraordinary growth of China and how its measurement is affected by the difference between PPP and national account values and by the increasing gap between value-added and gross exports.

Suggested Citation

  • Francisco Alcalá & Marta Solaz, 2018. "Developing Countries' Increasing Weight in World Trade, Openness, and Convergence," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 38(4), pages 2128-2140.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-18-00727

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Daron Acemoglu & David Autor & David Dorn & Gordon H. Hanson & Brendan Price, 2016. "Import Competition and the Great US Employment Sag of the 2000s," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(S1), pages 141-198.
    2. Robert Koopman & Zhi Wang & Shang-Jin Wei, 2014. "Tracing Value-Added and Double Counting in Gross Exports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(2), pages 459-494, February.
    3. Robert C. Johnson, 2014. "Five Facts about Value-Added Exports and Implications for Macroeconomics and Trade Research," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(2), pages 119-142, Spring.
    4. David H. Autor & David Dorn & Gordon H. Hanson, 2013. "The China Syndrome: Local Labor Market Effects of Import Competition in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2121-2168, October.
    5. Martin Ravallion, 2018. "Inequality and Globalization: A Review Essay," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 56(2), pages 620-642, June.
    6. Robert C. Feenstra, 1998. "Integration of Trade and Disintegration of Production in the Global Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 31-50, Fall.
    7. Johnson, Robert C. & Noguera, Guillermo, 2012. "Accounting for intermediates: Production sharing and trade in value added," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 224-236.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alcalá, Francisco & Solaz, Marta, 2018. "International Relocation of Production and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 13422, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item


    trade; openness; convergence; globalization; development; China.;

    JEL classification:

    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity


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