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Industrial Specialisation In The European Union: A Test Of The "New Trade Theory"

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  • Marius Brülhart

Abstract

Industry location in the European Union is examined in order to explore the relevance of the "new" theories of trade and economic geography. The analysis is based on a set of highly disaggregated intra-industry trade indices for 1961-1990, complemented by sectoral employment statistics for EU countries and regions. It is found that, as predicted by the "new" theories, increasing-returns industries are strongly concentrated at the economic core of the EU and display low levels of intra-industry trade. High-tech industries are also highly localised, but show no centre-periphery gradient and no specific pattern of intra-industry trade. The main potential for future specialisation appears to remain in sectors sensitive to labour costs, which are still relatively dispersed and have high levels of intra-industry trade. Employment in these industries is shifting towards the EU periphery. "Classical" determinants of international specialisation are thus expected to dominate the impending adjustment process in EU manufacturing.

Suggested Citation

  • Marius Brülhart, 1995. "Industrial Specialisation In The European Union: A Test Of The "New Trade Theory"," Economics Technical Papers 955, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tcd:tcduet:955
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    Cited by:

    1. Simonetta Longhi & Peter Nijkamp & Iulia Traistaru, 2003. "Determinants of Manufacturing Location in EU Accession Countries," ERSA conference papers ersa03p310, European Regional Science Association.
    2. Karl Aiginger & Stephen W. Davies, 2004. "Industrial specialisation and geographic concentration: Two sides of the same coin? Not for the European Union," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 7, pages 231-248, November.
    3. Traistaru, Iulia & Nijkamp, Peter & Longhi, Simonetta, 2002. "Regional specialization and concentration of industrial activity in accession countries," ZEI Working Papers B 16-2002, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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