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Decomposing world export growth and the relevance of new destinations

  • Zahler, Andrés

Looking to understand what drives countries' export growth in practice, I provide a decomposition of world export growth at the product variety level between new destinations, new products, and growth in value of old varieties. New destinations play a significant role, accounting for 37 percent of the growth in developing countries. By comparison, entry into new product categories -a margin that has received considerable attention- explains just 7 percent of export growth. Exploring the nature of destination expansion reveals it is neither automatic nor permanent. Even relatively competitive sectors face difficulties penetrating new destinations, and these difficulties are negatively correlated with population size and GDP per capita. Consistent with pervasive experimentation and failure, more than a third of all products in new destinations exported only once to a destination in the sixteen years studied.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 30295.

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Date of creation: Aug 2007
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:30295
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  1. David Weinstein & Christian Broda, 2004. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," 2004 Meeting Papers 530, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2003. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1268-1290, September.
  3. Jhonatan Eaton & Marcela Eslava & Maurice Kugler & James Tybout, "undated". "Export Growth in Colombia: Firm-Level Evidence," Borradores de Economia 446, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
  4. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  7. Sanghamitra Das & Mark J. Roberts & James R. Tybout, 2007. "Market Entry Costs, Producer Heterogeneity, and Export Dynamics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(3), pages 837-873, 05.
  8. Vettas, Nikolaos, 1998. "Investment Dynamics in Markets with Endogenous Demand," CEPR Discussion Papers 1994, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. David Hummels & Peter J. Klenow, 2002. "The Variety and Quality of a Nation's Trade," NBER Working Papers 8712, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Sofronis K. Clerides & Saul Lach & James R. Tybout, 1998. "Is Learning by Exporting Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence from Colombia, Mexico, and Morocco," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 903-947.
  11. David Hummels & Peter J. Klenow, 2005. "The Variety and Quality of a Nation's Exports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 704-723, June.
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