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Productive experience and specialization opportunities for Portugal: an empirical assessment


  • Miguel Lebre de Freitas

    () (Universidade de Aveiro, NIPE, GEE)

  • Susana Salvado

    (Banco de Portugal)

  • Luis Catela Nunes

    (Nova SBE)

  • Rui Costa Neves

    (Nova SBE)


Following Hidalgo et. al. (2007), we use the structure of international trade in 2005 to estimate a measure of “revealed relatedness” for each pair of internationally traded products, which intends to capture similarities in terms of the capabilities they use in production. Our method departs from the original one, in that we run a probit model, instead of computing conditional probabilities. We then use the estimated matrix of “Revealed Relatedness.Indexes” to investigate which “upscale” products in which Portugal didn’t develop comparative advantage are more related to products in which the country is currently specialized. The analysis suggests that more than 60% of Portugal’s “upscale opportunities” lie in non-traditional sectors, such as “machinery” and “chemicals”.

Suggested Citation

  • Miguel Lebre de Freitas & Susana Salvado & Luis Catela Nunes & Rui Costa Neves, 2013. "Productive experience and specialization opportunities for Portugal: an empirical assessment," GEE Papers 0010, Gabinete de Estratégia e Estudos, Ministério da Economia, revised Jul 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:mde:wpaper:0010

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert Koopman & Zhi Wang & Shang-Jin Wei, 2014. "Tracing Value-Added and Double Counting in Gross Exports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(2), pages 459-494, February.
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    3. Pedro Portugal & Olivier Blanchard, 2001. "What Hides Behind an Unemployment Rate: Comparing Portuguese and U.S. Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 187-207, March.
    4. Ricardo Hausmann & Jason Hwang & Dani Rodrik, 2007. "What you export matters," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 1-25, March.
    5. Matsuyama, Kiminori, 1992. "Agricultural productivity, comparative advantage, and economic growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 317-334, December.
    6. C. A. Hidalgo & B. Klinger & A. -L. Barabasi & R. Hausmann, 2007. "The Product Space Conditions the Development of Nations," Papers 0708.2090,
    7. Hausmann, Ricardo & Klinger, Bailey, 2006. "Structural Transformation and Patterns of Comparative Advantage in the Product Space," Working Paper Series rwp06-041, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    8. Alwyn Young, 1991. "Learning by Doing and the Dynamic Effects of International Trade," NBER Working Papers 3577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Rodriguez-Clare, Andres, 1996. "The division of labor and economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 3-32, April.
    10. Alwyn Young, 1991. "Learning by Doing and the Dynamic Effects of International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 369-405.
    11. Rodrik, Dani, 1996. "Coordination failures and government policy: A model with applications to East Asia and Eastern Europe," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1-2), pages 1-22, February.
    12. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Freire Junior, Clovis, 2017. "Promoting structural transformation: Strategic diversification vs laissez-faire approach," MERIT Working Papers 037, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    2. Freire Junior, Clovis, 2017. "Economic diversification: Explaining the pattern of diversification in the global economy and its implications for fostering diversification in poorer countries," MERIT Working Papers 033, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

    More about this item


    International trade; Comparative advantage; PRODY; The Portuguese Economy;

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade

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