The “China effect” on EU Exports to OECD markets – A focus on Italy
This paper analyzes the indirect impact of China on the export performance of major European countries (Italy, France, Germany and Spain) in their main destination markets (OECD countries). Given a strong specialization in manufacturing sector, these EU countries are likely to be at risk from China’s competition, especially in consumer goods. The heterogeneity in the production (and export) structures of EU countries makes Italy, whose productive structure is based on so-called “traditional” sectors, most vulnerable to China’s competitive pressure. Using data for the period 1995-2009, this paper estimates the possible displacement effect at sector level. Results show that there is a considerable variation in different EU countries’ exposure to China’s competition and that, in some sectors the Chinese exports effect is, indeed, strong. This is particularly true for the more recent period, after China has entered WTO and for Italy, both in traditional and more capital intensive sectors.
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