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European Export Performance

  • Angela Cheptea
  • Lionel Fontagné
  • Soledad Zignago

Competitiveness has come to the forefront of the policy debate within the European Union, focusing on price competitiveness and intra-EU imbalances. But how to measure competitiveness properly, beyond price or cost competitiveness, remains an open methodological issue; and how can we explain the resilience of producers located in the EU to the competition of emerging economies? We analyze the redistribution of world market shares at the level of the product variety, as countries no longer specialize in sectors or even products, but in varieties of the same product, sold at di fferent prices. We decompose changes in market shares into structural e ffects (geographical and sectoral) and a pure performance e ffect. Our method is based on an econometric shift-share decomposition and we regard the EU-27 as an integrated economy, excluding intra-EU trade. Revisiting the competitiveness issue in such a perspective sheds new light on the ongoing debate. From 1995 to 2009 the EU-27 withstood the competition from emerging countries better than the US and Japan. The EU market shares in the upper price range of the market proved quite resilient, by combining good performance and favorable structure e ffects, unlike the US and Japan. Finally, while most developed countries lose market shares in high-technology products to developing countries, the EU is slightly gaining, bene fiting of a favorable structure e ffect.

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Paper provided by CEPII research center in its series Working Papers with number 2012-19.

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Date of creation: Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cii:cepidt:2012-19
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