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International Specialization of Major Trading Countries in Global Trade of Sports Goods


  • Madeleine Andreff

    (University Marne-la-Vallée)

  • Wladimir Andreff

    (University Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne)


The analysis of international trade in sports goods is still in its infancy. Only four articles dealing with the topic have appeared in economic literature so far. In order to alleviate the sports economists ignorance about international specialisation in sports goods trade, we started to build up an entirely new dataset based on extracting data available in Comtrade (the UN word trade data basis) at the most disaggregated level (6 digits). After resolving a number of classification and statistical tricks, we have built up a country and sports goods dataset (41 countries, 36 goods), which gathers 94-96% of sports goods global trade every sampled year (1994, 1997, 1999, 2002 and 2004). Our country sample is divided into five regional areas of the world economy: NAFTA, EU + Switzerland, Eastern Europe, Asia, other emerging countries. As a first step, our dataset enables us to precisely describe the major flows of sports goods global trade. Major trading areas are Asia, Europe and NAFTA while major exporters are China, Hong Kong, the US and France, and major importers are the US, Japan, Germany, France, the UK and Italy. A major market share in sports goods global trade is for sportswear, anoraks, and gymnastic equipment. Asia, Eastern Europe and emerging countries have an excess balance in sports goods trade whereas NAFTA and Europe are in deficit. Different assessments, including one of revealed comparative advantages and disadvantages and a competitiveness index, depict the following international specialisation: NAFTA and Europe are specialised in ‘equipment intensive’ sports goods whereas Asia, Eastern Europe and emerging countries are specialised in ‘trite’ sports goods and some less equipment intensive sports goods. NAFTA is competitive in not any sport good, Europe is competitive in skis, emerging countries and Eastern Europe in sportswear and anoraks, and Asia in sportswear, anoraks, rackets, balls, skates, and gymnastic equipment. A principal component analysis often groups ‘trite’ sports goods together as opposed to intensive-equipment sports goods in global trade. A hierarchical ascendant classification methodology shows that China is a quite specific (dominant) trade partner in the global market for sports goods trade, Indonesia and Pakistan are platform for (Nike’s) outward-processing trade, international specialisation differentiates countries where sports goods production was relocated from trade partners with big domestic markets for sports goods. \

Suggested Citation

  • Madeleine Andreff & Wladimir Andreff, 2007. "International Specialization of Major Trading Countries in Global Trade of Sports Goods," IASE Conference Papers 0701, International Association of Sports Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:spe:cpaper:0701

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    File Function: Paper presented at the 9th annual IASE Conference in Dayton, Ohio, May 2007
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Simon Rottenberg, 1956. "The Baseball Players' Labor Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 242-242.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eco:journ1:2018-01-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Arpita Mukherjee & Ramneet Goswami & Tanu M Goyal & Divya Satija, 2010. "Sports Retailing in India: Opportunities, Constraints and Way Forward," Working Papers id:2769, eSocialSciences.

    More about this item


    sports economics; sports goods; international trade; international specialisation; globalisation; comparative advantage; competitiveness;

    JEL classification:

    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism
    • Z19 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Other
    • F01 - International Economics - - General - - - Global Outlook
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade

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