IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Structural Transformation and Patterns of Comparative Advantage in the Product Space

  • Hausmann, Ricardo

    (Harvard U)

  • Klinger, Bailey

In this paper we examine the product space and its consequences for the process of structural transformation. We argue that the assets and capabilities needed to produce one good are imperfect substitutes for those needed to produce other goods, but the degree of asset specificity varies widely. Given this, the speed of structural transformation will depend on the density of the product space near the area where each country has developed its comparative advantage. While this space is traditionally assumed to be smooth and continuous, we find that in fact it is very heterogeneous, with some areas being very dense and others quite sparse. We develop a measure of revealed proximity between products using comparative advantage in order to map this space, and then show that its heterogeneity is not without consequence. The speed at which countries can transform their productive structure and upgrade their exports depends on having a path to nearby goods that are increasingly of higher value. [Jointly published as Center for International Development Working Paper No. 128 and KSG Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP06-041.]

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government in its series Working Paper Series with number rwp06-041.

in new window

Date of creation: Sep 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp06-041
Contact details of provider: Postal: 79 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
Fax: 617-496-2554
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Aghion, P. & Howitt, P., 1989. "A Model Of Growth Through Creative Destruction," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 8904, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  2. William Greene, 2004. "Fixed Effects and Bias Due to the Incidental Parameters Problem in the Tobit Model," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(2), pages 125-147.
  3. Kiminori Matsuyama, 1990. "Increasing Returns, Industrialization and Indeterminacy of Equilibrium," Discussion Papers 878, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. Ricardo J. Caballero & Adam B. Jaffe, 1993. "How High are the Giants' Shoulders: An Empirical Assessment of Knowledge Spillovers and Creative Destruction in a Model of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 4370, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Scherer, F M, 1982. "Inter-Industry Technology Flows and Productivity Growth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(4), pages 627-34, November.
  6. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1992. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," NBER Working Papers 3993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Boyan Jovanovic & Yaw Nyarko, 1994. "Learning By Doing and the Choice of Technology," NBER Working Papers 4739, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 1997. "Issues in assessing the effect of interindustry R&D spillovers," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6235, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  10. Segerstrom, Paul S, 1991. "Innovation, Imitation, and Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 807-27, August.
  11. Leamer, Edward E, 1987. "Paths of Development in the Three-Factor, n-Good General Equilibrium Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(5), pages 961-99, October.
  12. Diamond, Douglas W, 1989. "Reputation Acquisition in Debt Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 828-62, August.
  13. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1989. "Product Development and International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1261-83, December.
  14. Luis Cabral, 2000. "Stretching Firm and Brand Reputation," Working Papers 00-07, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  15. Hausmann, Ricardo & Rodrik, Dani, 2002. "Economic Development as Self-Discovery," Working Paper Series rwp02-023, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  16. Hausmann, Ricardo & Hwang, Jason & Rodrik, Dani, 2005. "What You Export Matters," Working Paper Series rwp05-063, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  17. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1989. "Quality Ladders in the Theory of Growth," NBER Working Papers 3099, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Robert C. Feenstra & Robert E. Lipsey & Haiyan Deng & Alyson C. Ma & Hengyong Mo, 2005. "World Trade Flows: 1962-2000," NBER Working Papers 11040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Peter K. Schott, 2004. "Across-product Versus Within-product Specialization in International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 646-677, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp06-041. 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: ()

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.