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Exports of Manufactures by Developing Countries: Emerging Patterns of Trade and Location

  • Lall, Sanjaya

Developing countries are rapidly increasing their shares of manufactured trade, not just in labour-intensive products, but also in capital- and skill-intensive ones; their shares are rising particularly rapidly in the high-technology area. However, manufactured exports remain highly concentrated in the developing world, with a few countries dominating all forms of export. Within the successful exporting countries, there are significant differences in the 'technology content' of exports. These trends are difficult to explain with received trade theory, even taking human capital into account, or with reference to broad economic policies: it is useful to bring in 'learning,' along with scale economies, increasing returns, and agglomeration as determinants of comparative advantage. These factors imply market failures, and so a role for policy in developing genuine comparative advantages. This article suggests that emerging trade and location patterns in the developing work are explained by market imperfections and government policies to overcome them. Copyright 1998 by Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Oxford Review of Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 14 (1998)
Issue (Month): 2 (Summer)
Pages: 54-73

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Handle: RePEc:oup:oxford:v:14:y:1998:i:2:p:54-73
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  1. Mody, Ashoka & Yilmaz, Kamil & DEC, 1994. "Is there persistence in the growth of manufactured exports? Evidence from newly industrializing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1276, The World Bank.
  2. Pack, Howard & Westphal, Larry E., 1986. "Industrial strategy and technological change : Theory versus reality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 87-128, June.
  3. Venables, Anthony J., 1996. "Trade policy, cumulative causation, and industrial development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 179-197, April.
  4. Lall, Sanjaya, 1995. "Structural adjustment and African industry," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(12), pages 2019-2031, December.
  5. Adrian Wood & Kersti Berge, 1997. "Exporting manufactures: Human resources, natural resources, and trade policy," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(1), pages 35-59.
  6. Lall, Sanjaya & Teubal, Morris, 1998. ""Market-stimulating" technology policies in developing countries: A framework with examples from East Asia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(8), pages 1369-1385, August.
  7. Yeats, Alexander J., 1998. "Just how big is global production sharing?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1871, The World Bank.
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