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Risk of the Chinese trade integration for the Italian trade specialisation

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  • Alessia Amighini
  • Stefano Chiarlone

Abstract

The move towards export-oriented development strategies by China has increased concerns about the ability of Italian manifactures to effectively face price competition from emerging economies. This paper explores the hypothesis that the superior quality of Italian goods could support Italian competitiveness, using Spain as a benchmark. The data confirm that, although Italian and Chinese specialisation patterns are very similar, there is no widespread overlapping at the product level, and when there is, Italian goods show a higher quality level. Nonetheless, during the last decade, trade overlap increased and quality gap narrowed, suggesting that China is putting increasing competitive pressures on Italian manufacturing. In order to maintain its qualitative advantage, there is urgent need in Italy for an increase in investment in product upgrading and innovation.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessia Amighini & Stefano Chiarlone, 2004. "Risk of the Chinese trade integration for the Italian trade specialisation," LIUC Papers in Economics 150, Cattaneo University (LIUC).
  • Handle: RePEc:liu:liucec:150
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David Greenaway & Robert Hine & Chris Milner, 1994. "Country-specific factors and the pattern of horizontal and vertical intra-industry trade in the UK," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 130(1), pages 77-100, March.
    2. Greenaway, David & Torstensson, Johan, 2000. "Economic Geography, Comparative Advantage and Trade within Industries: Evidence from the OECD," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 15, pages 260-280.
    3. Stefano Chiarlone, 2000. "Evidence of Product Differentiation and Relative Quality in Italian Trade," KITeS Working Papers 114, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Jul 2000.
    4. Stefano Chiarlone, 2001. "Evidence of Product Differentiation and Relative Quality in Italian Trade," Rivista italiana degli economisti, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 147-168.
    5. Stefano Chiarlone & Alessia Amighini, 2000. "Any Sequel to the "Miracle"? Growth Potential in East Asia: Evidence from International Trade Flows," KITeS Working Papers 123, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Dec 2000.
    6. Flam, Harry & Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Vertical Product Differentiation and North-South Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 810-822, December.
    7. Alessandro Turrini, 2000. "High-quality bias in vertically differentiated oligopolies—a note on skills, trade, and welfare," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 71(2), pages 133-147, June.
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