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Relative product diversification in the course of economic development: import-export analysis

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  • Aleksandra PARTEKA
  • Massimo TAMBERI

Abstract

This paper contributes to trade diversification literature by comparing changes in relative (i.e. assessed in comparison with world patterns) heterogeneity of import and export structures in the process of economic development. In particular, by focusing on the diversification of imports, we add a missing piece to already analysed export trends. We use highly disaggregated trade statistics (4963 product lines) for 163 countries (1988-2010) and find that, despite differences in levels (imports being typically more diversified than exports, particularly at lower stages of economic development), they follow a similar path of evolution in the development process. Progressing relative diversification of both import and export structures accompanies economic growth, while re-specialisation is plausible only in case of few specific countries (very rich, small ones, abundant in oil/petrol). By comparing the results obtained with the use of alternative estimation methods (non-parametric, semi-parametric and parametric), we demonstrate the robustness of these findings. As income per capita grows, import (and export) structures of countries usually become less specialised with respect to the typical benchmark.

Suggested Citation

  • Aleksandra PARTEKA & Massimo TAMBERI, 2012. "Relative product diversification in the course of economic development: import-export analysis," Departmental Working Papers 2012-23, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  • Handle: RePEc:mil:wpdepa:2012-23
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    Cited by:

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    2. Giray Gozgor & Muhlis Can, 2016. "Effects of the product diversification of exports on income at different stages of economic development," Eurasian Business Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 6(2), pages 215-235, August.
    3. Mau, Karsten, 2014. "Margins, Gravity, and Causality: Export Diversification and Income Levels Reconsidered," GIGA Working Papers 249, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
    4. Roberto Basile & Aleksandra Parteka & Rosanna Pittiglio, 2018. "Export diversification and economic development: A dynamic spatial data analysis," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(3), pages 634-650, August.
    5. Lectard, Pauline & Rougier, Eric, 2018. "Can Developing Countries Gain from Defying Comparative Advantage? Distance to Comparative Advantage, Export Diversification and Sophistication, and the Dynamics of Specialization," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 90-110.
    6. Gnidchenko, A., 2018. "Structural Transformation in International Trade (2001-2015): Towards a New Classification," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 62-86.
    7. Le, Thai-Ha & Nguyen, Canh Phuc & Su, Thanh Dinh & Tran-Nam, Binh, 2020. "The Kuznets curve for export diversification and income inequality: Evidence from a global sample," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 21-39.
    8. Aleksandra Parteka & Massimo Tamberi, 2013. "What Determines Export Diversification in the Development Process? Empirical Assessment," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(6), pages 807-826, June.
    9. Bakari, Sayef, 2017. "Trade and Economic Growth in Germany," MPRA Paper 77404, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Tamberi, Massimo, 2020. "Productivity differentials along the development process: A “MESO” approach," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 99-107.
    11. Karsten Mau, 2016. "Export diversification and income differences reconsidered: The extensive product margin in theory and application," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 152(2), pages 351-381, May.
    12. Parteka, Aleksandra & Tamberi, Massimo, 2013. "Product diversification, relative specialisation and economic development: Import–export analysis," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 38(PA), pages 121-135.
    13. Bakari, Sayef & MABROUKI, Mohamed, 2016. "La Relation entre la Croissance Economique, les Exportations et les Importations en Maroc : Une Validation Empirique Basée sur des Techniques de Modélisation VAR et de Causalité au Sens de Granger ," MPRA Paper 76440, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Olivier Cadot & Céline Carrère & Vanessa Strauss-Kahn, 2014. "OECD imports: diversification of suppliers and quality search," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 150(1), pages 1-24, February.
    15. Ndambendia, Houdou, 2014. "Exports diversification and knowledge sharing from south-south and south-north economic cooperation: evidence from the Central and West Africa," MPRA Paper 71571, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2015.
    16. Parteka, Aleksandra, 2020. "What drives cross-country differences in export variety? A bilateral panel approach," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 48-56.
    17. Andrey A. Gnidchenko, 2019. "Structural Transformation and Quality Ladders: Solving the “Theil's Cube”," HSE Working papers WP BRP 218/EC/2019, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    18. Badri Narayan Rath & Vaseem Akram, 2017. "Export diversification and total factor productivity growth in case of South Asian region," Journal of Social and Economic Development, Springer;Institute for Social and Economic Change, vol. 19(1), pages 196-210, April.
    19. Hu, Guoheng & Can, Muhlis & Paramati, Sudharshan Reddy & Doğan, Buhari & Fang, Jianchun, 2020. "The effect of import product diversification on carbon emissions: New evidence for sustainable economic policies," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 198-210.
    20. Cieślik, Andrzej & Parteka, Aleksandra, 2021. "Relative Productivity, Country Size and Export Diversification," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 28-44.
    21. Alain McLaren & Meysut Saygili & Miho Shirotori, 2018. "Revealed Factor Intensity of Products: Insights from a New Database," UNCTAD Blue Series Papers 81, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
    22. Andrzej Cieślik, 2017. "Krzywa przedmiotowej dywersyfikacji eksportu w świetle modelu ricardiańskiego," Gospodarka Narodowa. The Polish Journal of Economics, Warsaw School of Economics, issue 2, pages 5-27.
    23. Akram Vaseem & Rath Badri Narayan, 2017. "Export Diversification and Sources of Growth in Emerging Market Economies," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 17(3), pages 1-13, September.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Diversification; specialisation; trade; economic development;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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