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China's International Competitiveness: Reassessing the Evidence

  • Ari Van Assche
  • Chang Hong
  • Veerle Slootmaekers

In this paper we argue that export data are an inadequate tool to measure a country's international competitiveness when external trade is dominated by export-processing trade. Export data do not necessarily reflect the value produced in an exporting country, but rather capture the gross value of the products that leave a country's ports. We demonstrate that, in the case of China, this leads to an upward bias in both the perceived quantitative and qualitative threats to the Western economies.

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Paper provided by LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven in its series LICOS Discussion Papers with number 20508.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:lic:licosd:20508
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  1. F. Gerard Adams & Byron Gangnes & Yochanan Shachmurove, 2004. "Why Is China So Competitive? Measuring and Explaining China’s Competitiveness," Working Papers 07-2004, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
  2. Peter K. Schott, 2004. "Across-product Versus Within-product Specialization in International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 646-677, May.
  3. Peter K. Schott, 2008. "The relative sophistication of Chinese exports," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 23, pages 5-49, 01.
  4. Lionel Fontagné & Guillaume Gaulier & Soledad Zignago, 2008. "Specialization across varieties and North-South competition," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 23, pages 51-91, 01.
  5. Lall, Sanjaya & Albaladejo, Manuel, 2004. "China's Competitive Performance: A Threat to East Asian Manufactured Exports?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1441-1466, September.
  6. Abraham, Filip & Konings, Jozef & Slootmaekers, Veerle, 2007. "FDI Spillovers in the Chinese Manufacturing Sector: Evidence of firm heterogeneity," CEPR Discussion Papers 6573, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Barry Naughton, 2007. "The Chinese Economy: Transitions and Growth," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262640643, June.
  8. Ari Van Assche & Byron Gangnes, 2010. "Electronics production upgrading: is China exceptional?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(5), pages 477-482.
  9. Byron Gangnes & Ari Van Assche, 2008. "China and the Future of Asian Electronics Trade," CIRANO Working Papers 2008s-05, CIRANO.
  10. Ph. Monfort & Hylke Vandenbussche & E. Forlani, 2008. "Chinese Competition and Skill-Upgrading in European Textiles: Firm-level Evidence," LICOS Discussion Papers 19808, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
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