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Export Diversification And Technological Improvement: Recent Trends In The Portuguese Economy

Listed author(s):
  • Manuel de Heredia Caldeira Cabral


    (Universidade do Minho, Departamento de Economia)

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    This paper uses dynamic measures to study the changes in the Portuguese export pattern. We identify long run trends of change in the structure of the Portuguese exports, and also discuss that the recent years might be a turning point in what concerns the acceleration of the growth of the Portuguese exports, the increase of structural change in the export pattern and also of reversing the excessive concentration in the Portuguese export markets. We focus particularly on export based indicators that are related with the trade and growth literature, and in this way could reveal the contribution of the evolution of the exports to the convergence of the Portuguese economy with the European Union. We identify four important changes in former trends: First the recovery of the trend of increasing openness of the Portuguese economy (that was interrupted since the beginning of the 1990’s); Second the recent evidence of export market diversification, that interrupts the trend of concentration of the exports in the EU market; Third the trend of structural change in the export pattern, that seems to have accelerated in recent years; Fourth the increase in the technological intensity of exports, which in recent years became the main driver of the increase in the exports, in a more marked way than in most European countries. We also find that the trend of convergence of the Portuguese export structure with that of the EU continued in recent years, with an important decrease in the distance between the Portuguese structure of exports and that of the European Union. As a result of this convergence there was a significant gain in the share of intra-industry trade. We argue that each of the five trends found here should be expected to be associated in a positive way with the prospects of income convergence between Portugal and the EU.

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    Paper provided by Gabinete de Estratégia e Estudos, Ministério da Economia in its series GEE Papers with number 0006.

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    Length: 45 pages
    Date of creation: Apr 2008
    Date of revision: Apr 2008
    Handle: RePEc:mde:wpaper:0006
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