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Specialization and Growth Perspectives in the South Mediterranean Area

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  • Massimo TAMBERI

Abstract

This paper empirically analyses overall specialization and revealed comparative advantages of the South Mediterranean countries. The paper has been divided into two sections. The first section deals with the relation between overall specialization and per-capita income, through a semi-parametric estimation of three different indexes of overall specialization, all derived from the distribution of sectoral revealed comparative advantages. GAM estimation demonstrates that overall specialization decreases with the rise of per-capita income and economy size (country specific effects are also considered). The second section deals with South Mediterranean countries, and describes them as countries that have a very high level of overall specialization, due to general and specific characteristics. In particular, there is a high concentration of revealed comparative advantages (RCAs) in traditional products. It is interesting to note that while RCAs are linked (not surprisingly) to low wage levels, very low level of productivity negatively influences unit costs, that are relatively high in most of the non-traditional sectors. Finally, these characteristics seem to be a consequence of limited openness of the South Mediterranean economies.
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  • Massimo TAMBERI, 2001. "Specialization and Growth Perspectives in the South Mediterranean Area," Middle East and North Africa 330400054, EcoMod.
  • Handle: RePEc:ekd:003304:330400054
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Elsa V. Artadi & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2003. "The Economic Tragedy of the XXth Century: Growth in Africa," NBER Working Papers 9865, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Mary Amiti, 1999. "Specialization patterns in Europe," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 135(4), pages 573-593, December.
    3. Luca De Benedictis & Massimo Tamberi, 2004. "Overall Specialization Empirics: Techniques and Applications," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 323-346, October.
    4. Dalum, Bent & Laursen, Keld & Verspagen, Bart, 1999. "Does Specialization Matter for Growth?," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(2), pages 267-288, June.
    5. Isabelle Bensidoun & Guillaume Gaulier & Deniz Ünal-Kesenci, 2001. "The Nature of Specialization Matters for Growth: an Empirical Investigation," Working Papers 2001-13, CEPII research center.
    6. David Hummels & Peter J. Klenow, 2002. "The Variety and Quality of a Nation's Trade," NBER Working Papers 8712, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lee, Jim, 2011. "Export specialization and economic growth around the world," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 45-63, March.
    2. Hideaki Hirata & Sunghyun Henry Kim & M. Ayhan Kose, 2007. "Sources of Fluctuations: The Case of MENA," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(1), pages 5-34, February.
    3. Balcilar, Mehmet & Bagzibagli, Kemal, 2010. "Sources of Macroeconomic Fluctuations in MENA Countries," MPRA Paper 44351, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations

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