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Growth-led exports: is variety the spice of trade?

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  • Joseph E. Gagnon

Abstract

Fast-growing countries tend to experience rapid export growth with little secular change in their terms of trade. This contradicts the standard Armington trade model, which predicts that fast-growing countries can experience rapid export growth only to the extent that they accept declining terms of trade. This paper generalizes the monopolistic competition trade model of Helpman and Krugman (1985), providing a basis for growth-led exports without declining terms of trade. The key mechanism behind this result is that fast-growing countries are able to develop new varieties of products that can be exported without pushing down the prices of existing products. There is strong support for the new model in long-run export growth of many countries in the post-war era.

Suggested Citation

  • Joseph E. Gagnon, 2004. "Growth-led exports: is variety the spice of trade?," International Finance Discussion Papers 822, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:822
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
    2. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
    3. Krugman, Paul, 1989. "Differences in income elasticities and trends in real exchange rates," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 1031-1046, May.
    4. Abdelhak S. Senhadji & Claudio E. Montenegro, 1999. "Time Series Analysis of Export Demand Equations: A Cross-Country Analysis," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 46(3), pages 1-2.
    5. Pereira, Alfredo M & Xu, Zhenhui, 2000. "Export Growth and Domestic Performance," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(1), pages 60-73, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:wsi:jicepx:v:02:y:2011:i:01:n:s1793993311000233 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Willem Thorbecke, 2011. "The Effect Of Exchange Rate Changes On Trade In East Asia," Journal of International Commerce, Economics and Policy (JICEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 2(01), pages 85-102.
    3. Vahagn Galstyan & Philip R. Lane, 2008. "External Imbalances and the Extensive Margin of Trade," Economic Notes, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, vol. 37(3), pages 241-257, November.
    4. Aristea Gkagka & Grigoris Zarotiadis, 2011. "Growth and EU Trade Relations: A Case Study," South-Eastern Europe Journal of Economics, Association of Economic Universities of South and Eastern Europe and the Black Sea Region, vol. 9(1), pages 1-11.
    5. KANG, Kichun, 2008. "How much have been the export products changed from homogeneous to differentiated? Evidence from China, Japan, and Korea," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 128-137, June.
    6. Catherine L. Mann & Katharina Pl├╝ck, 2005. "The US Trade Deficit: A Disaggregated Perspective," Working Paper Series WP05-11, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    7. Kang, Kichun, 2009. "The export price index with the effect of variety and an empirical analysis," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 385-391, March.

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    Keywords

    International trade ; Product differentiation;

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