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Export sophistication and economic growth: Evidence from China

Author

Listed:
  • Joachim Jarreau

    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Sandra Poncet

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

We consider the effect of export sophistication on economic performance by appealing to regional variation within one single country (China) over the 1997-2009 period. We find evidence in support of Hausmann, Hwang and Rodrik (2007), in that regions specializing in more sophisticated goods subsequently grow faster. We find substantial variation in export sophistication at the province and prefecture level, controlling for the level of development, and that this sophistication in turn drives growth. Our results suggest that these gains are limited to the ordinary export activities undertaken by domestic firms: no direct gains result from either processing trade activities or foreign firms, even though these are the main contributors to the global upgrading of China's exports. As such, the extent of assembly trade and foreign entities should be distinguished in order to measure the true movement in a country's technology and the contribution of exports to economic growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Joachim Jarreau & Sandra Poncet, 2012. "Export sophistication and economic growth: Evidence from China," PSE - Labex "OSE-Ouvrir la Science Economique" hal-00649282, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:pseose:hal-00649282
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2011.04.001
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00649282
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Export sophistication; Economic growth; Processing trade; China;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • R1 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics

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