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

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  • Aleksandra PARTEKA

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  • Massimo TAMBERI

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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:

    1. Roberto Basile & Aleksandra Parteka & Rosanna Pittiglio, 2015. "Export diversification and economic development: a dynamic spatial data analysis," Gecomplexity Discussion Paper Series 15, Action IS1104 "The EU in the new complex geography of economic systems: models, tools and policy evaluation", revised Dec 2015.
    2. 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.
    3. 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), pages 351-381.
    4. Akerman, Anders & Seim, Anna Larsson, 2014. "The global arms trade network 1950–2007," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 535-551.
    5. 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.
    6. Aleksandra Parteka & Massimo Tamberi, 2013. "What Determines Export Diversification in the Development Process? Empirical Assessment," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, pages 807-826.
    7. Parteka, Aleksandra & Tamberi, Massimo, 2013. "Product diversification, relative specialisation and economic development: Import–export analysis," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, pages 121-135.
    8. repec:spr:jsecdv:v:19:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s40847-017-0037-z is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Karsten Mau, 2014. "Margins, Gravity, and Causality: Export Diversification and Income Levels Reconsidered," GIGA Working Paper Series 249, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
    10. 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), pages 1-24.
    11. Ricardo Argüello, 2017. "Trade diversification in Colombia, 1991-2011," REVISTA CUADERNOS DE ECONOMÍA, UN - RCE - CID, pages 345-378.
    12. Joaquín Coleff & Daniel Garcia, 2017. "Information Provision in Procurement Auctions," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 19(2), pages 426-444, April.
    13. 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.
    14. Ricardo Argüello, 2017. "Trade diversification in Colombia, 1991-2011," REVISTA CUADERNOS DE ECONOMÍA, UN - RCE - CID, pages 345-378.
    15. Bakari, Sayef, 2017. "Trade and Economic Growth in Germany," MPRA Paper 77404, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. 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.
    17. repec:sgh:gosnar:y:2017:i:2:p:5-27 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Diversification; specialisation; trade; economic development;

    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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