Export performance, competitiveness and commodity composition
The study of export performance, especially for countries with serious external imbalances, is essential for economic decision-making. This study attempts to evaluate Greek export performance during the 1996-2001 period, using detailed panel data on bilateral trade by product. Factors explaining Greek export market shares are analysed with the method of Constant Market Shares. In addition, the dynamics of the specialization pattern of Greek exports and the effect of price competitiveness on export market shares are examined. The results show a considerable change in export structure, mainly the geographical structure, with a favourable effect on market shares. Although the pattern of comparative advantages and the technological intensity of Greek exports have improved, exports remain concentrated in low- and medium-technology sectors, while product variety and quality have declined. Finally, the results show heterogeneity among the panels. In the aggregate, export market shares are inelastic with respect to relative and absolute prices, which would call for focus on non-price factors to improve competitiveness in international markets. However, elasticities are greater than one for a considerable proportion of commodities.
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