IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Evolution of EU and its Member States' Competitiveness in International Trade


  • Louise Curran
  • Soledad Zignago


After a long period of domination by the industrialised countries of the North, international trade is today driven by the dynamism of developing countries. This work seeks to analyse how the EU is performing in the light of this emerging competitive threat, by comparing the EU’s export performance on the world market with that of its key competitors between 1995 and 2004. The figures show that the EU has performed particularly well in the more upmarket, expensive and high tech levels of the market. Most notably, Europe is the market leader in up-market products, with almost 31% of the world market in 2004 (versus 20% of the market for all goods). In addition, there is evidence that the EU’s recent enlargement has helped it to maintain a strong performance, thanks to an increasing division of labour within the region. The new member states have become important suppliers of intermediate goods to key EU producers, and in particular German firms, thus becoming increasingly vital to EU competitiveness.

Suggested Citation

  • Louise Curran & Soledad Zignago, 2009. "Evolution of EU and its Member States' Competitiveness in International Trade," Working Papers 2009-11, CEPII research center.
  • Handle: RePEc:cii:cepidt:2009-11

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Angela Cheptea & Lionel Fontagné & Soledad Zignago, 2014. "European export performance," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 150(1), pages 25-58, February.
    2. Fernandes, Ana M., 2007. "Trade policy, trade volumes and plant-level productivity in Colombian manufacturing industries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 52-71, March.
    3. Kristien Coucke & Leo Sleuwaegen, 2008. "Offshoring as a survival strategy: evidence from manufacturing firms in Belgium," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 39(8), pages 1261-1277, December.
    4. Lionel Fontagné & Michaël Freudenberg & Deniz Ünal, 1995. "Régionalisation et échanges de biens intermédiaires," Working Papers 1995-11, CEPII research center.
    5. Gaulier, Guillaume & Zignago, Soledad, 2004. "Notes on BACI (analytical database of international trade). 1989-2002 version," MPRA Paper 32401, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Kasahara, Hiroyuki & Rodrigue, Joel, 2008. "Does the use of imported intermediates increase productivity? Plant-level evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 106-118, August.
    7. Marc-Andreas Muendler, 2004. "Trade, Technology, and Productivity: A Study of Brazilian Manufacturers, 1986-1998," CESifo Working Paper Series 1148, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. Blalock, Garrick & Veloso, Francisco M., 2007. "Imports, Productivity Growth, and Supply Chain Learning," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 1134-1151, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Curran, Louise & Zignago, Soledad, 2012. "EU enlargement and the evolution of European production networks," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 240-257.
    2. Angela Cheptea & Charlotte Emlinger & Lionel Fontagné & Gianluca Orefice & Olga Pindyuk, 2014. "The Development of EU and EU Member States' External Competitiveness," Working Papers 2014-06, CEPII research center.
    3. Guillaume Gaulier & Françoise Lemoine & Deniz Ünal, 2012. "The rise of emerging economies in the EU15 trade," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 9(1), pages 133-175, April.

    More about this item



    JEL classification:

    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cii:cepidt:2009-11. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.