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Produtividade, Competitividade e Quotas de Exportação


  • Jorge Santos

    () (Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestão, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa)


In order to test the idea that the deterioration of the Portuguese export shares in the period 1995-2004 was due to the unfavourable evolution of the unit labour costs (ULC), the import structure of Germany, Spain, France and the United Kingdom (representing about 70% of the Portuguese exports) was studied in that period, and detected the main Portugal competitor countries.The test that the export shares depend on the evolution of the unit labour costs was done through panel regressions (using two methodologies) for each one of these big import countries, and considering data for the “Total Economy”, the “Manufacturing Industry” and the “Textiles and Clothing” sector. The estimation of a single and common coefficient including the nine main Portugal competitor countries led to the conclusion that at the “Total Economy” or “Manufacturing Industry” levels, no statistically significant negative effect of the ULC on the export shares was detected, but that the same could not be said at the sector level, as was seen in the “Textiles and Clothing” sector. When that coefficient was discriminated for Portugal (by computing the difference between the rate of growth of its ULC and the average rate of growth of the competitor countries ULC ) it was evident the importance of the relative evolution of the nominal ULC on the export shares, both at the “Total Economy” and “Manufacturing Industry” levels. These results should be taken with care given the relatively small number of observations, the frequent revisions of data and some compatibility problems between the ULC and foreign trade data. Given that the evolution of the unit labour costs (nominal and real) depends on the evolution of the labour compensation and labour productivity, this paper also presents a relatively detailed study of those variables for the “Total Economy”, “Manufacturing Industry” and for fourteen of its sectors, in Portugal and in some of its competitors.

Suggested Citation

  • Jorge Santos, 2007. "Produtividade, Competitividade e Quotas de Exportação," GEE Papers 0005, Gabinete de Estratégia e Estudos, Ministério da Economia, revised Dec 2007.
  • Handle: RePEc:mde:wpaper:0005

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    More about this item


    Productivity; Competitiveness; Export Shares; Unit Labour Costs;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General

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