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International specialization models in Latin America: the case of Argentina

  • Paola Caselli

    ()

    (Bank of Italy)

  • Andrea Zaghini

    ()

    (Bank of Italy)

The paper compares the Argentine specialization model with that of the other major Latin American countries. Given the lack of production data at disaggregate level, we rely on trade flow information from the WTA Statistics Canada database (3-digit SITC classification), available for most Latin American countries for a rather long time span (1980-2000). Our analysis, based on the Lafay Index of international specialization, shows that Argentina concentrates its comparative advantages in raw materials, agricultural and food products and exhibits, at the same time, serious deficiencies in the production of manufactures. This specialization pattern has remained remarkably stable over the last two decades, in spite of the major reforms implemented in many different fields. These features are shared with the other major Latin American countries, with the notable exception of Mexico, whose comparative advantages have changed dramatically in the same period, from raw materials (essentially oil) towards manufactures. Moreover, the products in which Argentina is specialized are among those for which world demand growth is structurally lower; this could eventually lead to a decreasing weight of Argentina in international markets.

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File URL: http://www.bancaditalia.it/pubblicazioni/temi-discussione/2005/2005-0558/tema_558.pdf
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Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) with number 558.

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Date of creation: Jun 2005
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Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_558_05
Contact details of provider: Postal: Via Nazionale, 91 - 00184 Roma
Web page: http://www.bancaditalia.it

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  1. Jeffrey A. Frankel & David Romer & Teresa Cyrus, 1996. "Trade and Growth in East Asian Countries: Cause and Effect?," NBER Working Papers 5732, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. James E. Rauch & Diana Weinhold, 1999. "Openness, Specialization, and Productivity Growth in Less Developed Countries," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1009-1027, August.
  3. Andrea Brasili & Paolo Epifani & Rodolfo Helg, 2000. "On the Dynamics of Trade Patterns," KITeS Working Papers 115, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Jul 2000.
  4. Ricardo J. Caballero, 2000. "Macroeconomic Volatility in Latin America: A View and Three Case Studies," NBER Working Papers 7782, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. James Proudman & Stephen Redding, 2000. "Evolving patterns of international trade," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 206, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. Matteo Bugamelli, 2001. "Il modello di specializzazione internazionale dell'Italia e dei principali paesi europei: omogeneit� e convergenza," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 402, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  7. Stephen Redding, 2002. "Specialization dynamics," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 210, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. Chiara Bentivogli & Paola Monti, 2001. "International Transmission Via Trade Links: Theoretically Consistent Indicators of Interdependence for Latin America and South-East Asia," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 410, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  9. Dorrucci, Ettore & Firpo, Stefano & Mongelli, Francesco Paolo & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2002. "European integration: what lessons for other regions? The case of Latin America," Working Paper Series 0185, European Central Bank.
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