France's export performances compared to those of its main partners
This paper compares Frances export performances to those of five similar exporting countries (Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy and Japan). The analysis is decomposed by geographical destination of the exports (44 partner countries) and by sector (12 industrial sectors). Trade flows are characterized in terms of prices and volumes. The data come from the OECD (OECDs STAN database and INSEEs FLUBIL database, constructed with OECD data). The econometric analysis is based on a structural trade model, inspired by the new international trade theory. The model establishes a relationship between relative market shares and a set of explanatory variables, among which relative prices. We identify a few stylised facts regarding the change in Frances market shares, relatively to that of the five other exporting countries considered: - In industrialized markets, the relative market shares are relatively well explained, in the structural model, by the industry-size and price-competitiveness effects. Over the 1992-2003 period, France gained market shares with respect to Japan and the United Kingdom, but lost market shares relatively to the three other exporting countries. However, the size of these trends is limited, except when Frances performances are compared to those of Spain, where catching-up effects are probably predominant. - Ceteris paribus, and in particular price-competitiveness and industry-size, France tends to lose market shares relatively to the five other countries considered between 1992 and 2003, essentially in emerging markets. - Finally, the analysis of the results that are left unexplained by the structural model shows that these changes in relative market shares are mainly of a cyclical nature. This is particularly clear in the case of the comparison between Frances and Germanys export performances.
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