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Export Diversification: What's behind the Hump?


  • Olivier Cadot

    (HEC Lausanne - Faculté des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC Lausanne))

  • Céline Carrere

    (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - UdA - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Vanessa Strauss-Khan

    (ESCP Europe)


The paper explores the evolution of export diversification patterns along the economic development path. Using a large database with 156 countries over 19 years at the HS6 level of disaggregation (4'991 product lines) we look for action at the intensive and extensive margins. We find a hump-shaped pattern of export diversification similar to what Imbs and Wacziarg (2003) found for production. Diversification and subsequent reconcentration take place mostly along the extensive margin whereas high income countries diversify along the intensive margin. This hump-shaped pattern is consistent with the conjecture that countries travel across diversification cones, as discussed in Schott (2003, 2004) and Xiang (2007).

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier Cadot & Céline Carrere & Vanessa Strauss-Khan, 2011. "Export Diversification: What's behind the Hump?," Post-Print halshs-00602103, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00602103
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Peter K. Schott, 2003. "One Size Fits All? Heckscher-Ohlin Specialization in Global Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 686-708, June.
    2. Timothy J. Kehoe & Kim J. Ruhl, 2013. "How Important Is the New Goods Margin in International Trade?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(2), pages 358-392.
    3. Brunnschweiler, Christa N., 2008. "Cursing the Blessings? Natural Resource Abundance, Institutions, and Economic Growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 399-419, March.
    4. Xiang, Chong, 2007. "Diversification cones, trade costs and factor market linkages," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 448-466, April.
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    13. Prebisch, Raúl, 1950. "The economic development of Latin America and its principal problems," Sede de la CEPAL en Santiago (Estudios e Investigaciones) 29973, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
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    15. David Hummels & Peter J. Klenow, 2005. "The Variety and Quality of a Nation's Exports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 704-723, June.
    16. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
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    More about this item


    Latin America; international trade; Export diversification;

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development


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