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The Sophistication of East Asian Exports

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  • THORBECKE, Willem
  • Hao-Kai PAI

Abstract

Hausmann, Hwang, and Rodrik (2007) found that countries that export more sophisticated products tend to subsequently grow more rapidly. We examine the sophistication of Asia's exports using Hausmann et al.'s and Kwan's (2002) measures. Japan remains the technology leader in Asia, but not in the world. In 2012, Japan's exports competed with those of South Korea and Taiwan and were complementary with those of China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). South Korea and Taiwan competed intensely with each other but less so with China and ASEAN, while ASEAN countries competed extensively with each other. Given the high levels of competition and cooperation among East Asian countries, greater exchange rate stability in the region would reduce export volatility among competitors and facilitate trade among comrades.

Suggested Citation

  • THORBECKE, Willem & Hao-Kai PAI, 2013. "The Sophistication of East Asian Exports," Discussion papers 13092, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  • Handle: RePEc:eti:dpaper:13092
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Thorbecke, Willem & Lamberte, Mario & Komoto, Ginalyn, 2010. "Promoting Learning and Industrial Upgrading in ASEAN Countries," ADBI Working Papers 250, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    2. Ricardo Hausmann & Jason Hwang & Dani Rodrik, 2007. "What you export matters," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 1-25, March.
    3. Jarreau, Joachim & Poncet, Sandra, 2012. "Export sophistication and economic growth: Evidence from China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 281-292.
    4. Lall, Sanjaya & Weiss, John & Zhang, Jinkang, 2006. "The "sophistication" of exports: A new trade measure," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 222-237, February.
    5. Hayakawa, Kazunobu & Kimura, Fukunari, 2009. "The effect of exchange rate volatility on international trade in East Asia," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 395-406, December.
    6. Hausmann, Ricardo & Rodrik, Dani, 2003. "Economic development as self-discovery," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 603-633, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thorbecke, Willem, 2014. "The contribution of the yen appreciation since 2007 to the Japanese economic debacle," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 1-15.

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