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Dynamics of structural transformation: An empirical characterization in the case of China, Malaysia, and Ghana

  • Badibanga, Thaddee
  • Diao, Xinshen
  • Roe, Terry
  • Somwaru, Agapi

"The paper develops a metric of structural transformation that can account for the production of new varieties of goods embodying advancements in technological know-how and design. Our measure captures the dynamics of an economy's transformation and can be viewed as an extension of Hausmann and Klinger's static measure. We apply our measure to four-digit-level SITC trade data of China, Malaysia, and Ghana over the period 1962–2000. The results show that two important factors characterize the rapid transformation of the Chinese economy: the high proximity of its export basket to three main industrial clusters—capital goods, consumer durable goods, and intermediate inputs—and the increase in the values of the new goods belonging to those three clusters. Malaysia exhibits a similar but more modest pattern. In contrast, the structure of the Ghanaian economy appears unchanged over the entire 1962–2000 period. That economy is dominated by primary goods clusters, and the values of the goods in those clusters have remained relatively low. We also discuss qualitatively the role of policies and institutions in spurring transformation in the three countries." from authors' abstract

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Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series IFPRI discussion papers with number 856.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:856
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  1. Ricardo Hausmann & Jason Hwang & Dani Rodrik, 2005. "What You Export Matters," NBER Working Papers 11905, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Paul Romer, 1989. "Endogenous Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 3210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  5. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1991. "Quality Ladders in the Theory of Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(1), pages 43-61, January.
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  9. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1989. "Endogemour Product Cycles," Papers 10-89, Tel Aviv.
  10. Robert Koopman & Zhi Wang & Shang-Jin Wei, 2008. "How Much of Chinese Exports is Really Made In China? Assessing Domestic Value-Added When Processing Trade is Pervasive," NBER Working Papers 14109, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. Rodrik, Dani, 2004. "Industrial Policy for the Twenty-First Century," Working Paper Series rwp04-047, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  13. Segerstrom, Paul S & Anant, T C A & Dinopoulos, Elias, 1990. "A Schumpeterian Model of the Product Life Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1077-91, December.
  14. Grossman, G.M., 1989. "Explaining Japan'S Innovation And Trade: A Model Of Quality Competition And Dynamic Comparative Advantage," Papers 151, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  15. Arnaud Costinot, 2009. "An Elementary Theory of Comparative Advantage," NBER Working Papers 14645, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Balassa, Bela, 1986. "Comparative Advantage in Manufactured Goods: A Reappraisal," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(2), pages 315-19, May.
  17. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1989. "Endogenous Prduct Cycles," Papers 144, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
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