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The evolution of world trade and the Italian ‘anomaly': a new look

  • Michele Di Maio

    (Università di Macerata)

  • Federico Tamagni

    (Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna)

This work provides an empirical assessment of the 'sophistication' of the Italian international specialization pattern and of its evolution during the period 1980 � 2000. In particular we analyse the well-known Italian trade 'anomaly' combining the information coming from the PRODY index (Hausmann et al. (2005)) with the RCA index. Our results show that in the last two decades, the world trade has been rapidly changing with Italy becoming increasingly more competitive and specialized in products that are characterized by decreasing income/productivity levels. Thus, while the Italian 'anomaly' was not a problem in the past, it may have become an obstacle to future growth.

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Paper provided by Macerata University, Department of Finance and Economic Sciences in its series Working Papers with number 39-2006.

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Date of creation: Oct 2006
Date of revision: Oct 2008
Publication status: Forthcoming in Rivista di Politica Economica
Handle: RePEc:mcr:wpdief:wpaper00039
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  1. Luca De Benedictis & Massimo Tamberi, 2004. "Overall Specialization Empirics: Techniques and Applications," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 323-346, October.
  2. Robert C. Feenstra & Andrew K. Rose, . "Putting Things In Order: Patterns Of Trade Dynamics And Growth," Department of Economics 97-14, California Davis - Department of Economics.
  3. Dalum, Bent & Laursen, Keld & Verspagen, Bart, 1999. "Does Specialization Matter for Growth?," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(2), pages 267-88, June.
  4. Luca De Benedictis, 2005. "Three Decades of Italian Comparative Advantages," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(11), pages 1679-1709, November.
  5. Andrea Brasili & Paolo Epifani & Rodolfo Helg, 2000. "On the Dynamics of Trade Patterns," International Trade 0004006, EconWPA.
  6. Luca De Benedictis & Marco Gallegati & Massimo Tamberi, 2007. "Semiparametric analysis of the specialization-income relationship," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(4), pages 301-306.
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