Vertical specialisation in Europe: Evidence from the import content of exports
We use input-output tables to estimate the import content (IC) of exports for several European countries, interpreting this as a measure of internationalisation. Between 1995 and 2000 the IC grew everywhere but in France; the transport equipment sector emerged as the most internationalised one. The change we detect for a set of EMU countries is remarkable when compared with previous estimates over the 20-year period between 1970 and 1990. Italy and Germany showed very different patterns, although both started from a very low level of IC. Italy experienced the weakest growth and Germany the most sizeable rise. We argue that Italian firms might have felt less pressured to transform their organisation due to the delayed effects of the 1992 and 1995 Lira crises.
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