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The revealed competitiveness of U.S. exports

Author

Listed:
  • Massimo Del Gatto
  • Filippo di Mauro
  • Joseph W. Gruber
  • Benjamin R. Mandel

Abstract

The U.S. share of world merchandise exports has declined sharply over the last decade. Using data at the level of detailed industries, this paper analyzes the decline in U.S. share against the backdrop of alternative measures of the competitiveness of the U.S. economy. We document the following facts: (i) only a few industries contributed to the decline in any meaningful way, (ii) a large part of the drop was driven by the changing size of U.S. export industries and not the size of U.S. sales within those industries, (iii) in a gravity framework, the majority of the decline in the U.S. export share within industries was due to the declining U.S. share of world income, and (iv) in a computed structural measure of firm productivity, average U.S. export productivity has generally maintained its high level versus other countries over time. Overall, our analysis suggests that the dismal performance of the U.S. market share is not a sufficient statistic for competitiveness.

Suggested Citation

  • Massimo Del Gatto & Filippo di Mauro & Joseph W. Gruber & Benjamin R. Mandel, 2011. "The revealed competitiveness of U.S. exports," International Finance Discussion Papers 1026, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:1026
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Massimo Del Gatto & Giordano Mion & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2006. "Trade Integration, Firm Selection and the Costs of Non-Europe," Development Working Papers 218, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
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    3. Dennis Novy, 2013. "Gravity Redux: Measuring International Trade Costs With Panel Data," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 101-121, January.
    4. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 295-316.
    5. Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry & Ries, John, 2010. "The erosion of colonial trade linkages after independence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 1-14, May.
    6. Chen, Natalie & Novy, Dennis, 2008. "International Trade Integration: A Disaggregated Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 7103, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. David S. Jacks & Christopher M. Meissner & Dennis Novy, 2008. "Trade Costs, 1870-2000," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 529-534, May.
    8. Gregory Corcos & Massimo Del Gatto & Giordano Mion & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2012. "Productivity and Firm Selection: Quantifying the ‘New’ Gains from Trade," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(561), pages 754-798, June.
    9. Philippe Martin & Thierry Mayer & Mathias Thoenig, 2008. "Make Trade Not War?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 865-900.
    10. Michael E. Waugh, 2010. "International Trade and Income Differences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2093-2124, December.
    11. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2000. "Non-Europe: The magnitude and causes of market fragmentation in the EU," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 136(2), pages 284-314, June.
    12. Patrizio Pagano & Massimo Sbracia & Andrea Finicelli, 2008. "Trade-revealed TFP," 2008 Meeting Papers 717, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    13. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Daria Taglioni & Filippo di Mauro, 2009. "The euro and the competitiveness of European firms," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 24, pages 5-53, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel de Munnik & Jocelyn Jacob & Wesley Sze, 2012. "The Evolution of Canada’s Global Export Market Share," Staff Working Papers 12-31, Bank of Canada.
    2. di Mauro, Filippo & Del Gatto, Massimo & Gruber, Joseph & Mandel, Benjamin, 2012. "The structural determinants of the US competitiveness in the last decades: a "trade-revealing" analysis," Working Paper Series 1443, European Central Bank.
    3. J. David Richardson & Asha Sundaram, 2013. "Sizing Up US Export Disincentives for a New Generation of National-Security Export Controls," Policy Briefs PB13-13, Peterson Institute for International Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Exports - United States ; Industrial Productivity - United States ; Competition;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • R13 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General Equilibrium and Welfare Economic Analysis of Regional Economies

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