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South Asia's Export Structure in a Comparative Perspective


  • Jorg Mayer
  • Adrian Wood


World-wide cross-country regressions are used to examine South Asia's export structure through the lens of Heckscher-Ohlin trade theory. By comparison with other regions, South Asia's exports are unusually concentrated on labour-intensive manufactures. This distinctive export structure is shown to be the result mainly of South Asia's distinctive combination of resources: by comparison with other regions, it has a low level of education and few natural resources, relative to its supply of labour. This basic economic fact must be recognized in the design of trade and development strategy for South Asia over the next few decades.

Suggested Citation

  • Jorg Mayer & Adrian Wood, 2001. "South Asia's Export Structure in a Comparative Perspective," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(1), pages 5-29.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:29:y:2001:i:1:p:5-29 DOI: 10.1080/13600810124897

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Dani Rodrik, 2006. "What's So Special about China's Exports?," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 14(5), pages 1-19.
    2. World Bank, 2005. "The Cost of Doing Business in Africa : Evidence from the World Bank’s Investment Climate Data," World Bank Other Operational Studies 8769, The World Bank.
    3. Gouranga Gopal Das, 2002. "Trade-Induced Technology Spillover And Adoption: A Quantitative General Equilibrium Application," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 27(2), pages 21-44, December.
    4. Krishnarajapet V. Ramaswamy, 2003. "Globalization and Industrial Labor Markets in South Asia: Some Aspects of Adjustment in a Less Integrated Region," Economics Study Area Working Papers 54, East-West Center, Economics Study Area.
    5. Hausmann, Ricardo & Rodrik, Dani, 2003. "Economic development as self-discovery," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 603-633, December.
    6. Jörg MAYER, 2004. "Not Totally Naked: Textiles And Clothing Trade In A Quota Free Environment," UNCTAD Discussion Papers 176, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
    7. Ratnakar Adhikari & Yumiko Yamamoto, 2008. "Textile and clothing industry - Adjusting to the post-quota world," STUDIES IN TRADE AND INVESTMENT,in: Unveiling Protectionism: Regional Responses to Remaining Barriers in the Textiles and Clothing Trade, pages 3-48 page United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
    8. Anderson, Edward, 2005. "Openness and inequality in developing countries: A review of theory and recent evidence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1045-1063, July.
    9. Badibanga, Thaddee Mutumba & Diao, Xinshen & Roe, Terry L. & Somwaru, Agapi, 2008. "Dynamics of Structural Transformation: Understanding the Key Factors That Drive Innovative Activities in Selected Asian and African Countries," Bulletins 43890, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
    10. Audretsch, David B. & Sanders, Mark, 2009. "Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Development," MERIT Working Papers 052, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    11. Ron Sandrey & Hannah Edinger, 2011. "Working Paper 128 - China’s Manufacturing and Industrialization in Africa," Working Paper Series 294, African Development Bank.
    12. World Bank, 2007. "Ghana - Meeting the Challenge of Accelerated and Shared Growth : Country Economic Memorandum, Volume 1. Background Papers," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7661, The World Bank.
    13. Black Anthony & McLennan Thomas & Makundi Brian, 2017. "Working Paper 282 - Africa’s Automotive Industry Potential and Challenges," Working Paper Series 2412, African Development Bank.
    14. Adrian Wood & Jörg Mayer, 2011. "Has China de-industrialised other developing countries?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 147(2), pages 325-350, June.
    15. Namra Awais, 2016. "Was the SAFTA (Phase II) Revision Successful? A Case Study of Bangladesh’s RMG Exports to India," Lahore Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, The Lahore School of Economics, vol. 21(1), pages 151-182, Jan-June.
    16. N.C. Saxena & Tim Conway & Cecilia Luttrell & Edward Anderson & John Farrington & Gerard Gill, 2016. "Food Security and the Millennium Development Goal on Hunger in Asia," Working Papers id:11094, eSocialSciences.
    17. Goran Nikolić, 2013. "Is There A Structural Improvement In The Merchandise Exports Of The Balkan Countries In The Period 2000-2012?," Economic Annals, Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade, vol. 58(196), pages 99-132, January –.

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