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Discovery and development : an empricial exploration of"new"products

Author

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  • Klinger, Bailey
  • Lederman, Daniel

Abstract

The authors use disaggregated export data to explore the relationship between economic discovery and economic development. They find that discoveries, or episodes, when countries begin exporting a new product are not limited to so-called"dynamic"industries. Rather, they also occur in traditional sectors such as agriculture. In addition, the data suggest discovery is a component of the stages of productive diversification that occur with development, following a consistent pattern-discovery activity peaks at the lower-middle income level and then declines. Based on this pattern, the authors show that discovery in the 1990s occurred with a higher than expected frequency in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and lower than expected frequency in Sub-Saharan Africa. Discovery is not found to be a product of structural transformation based on changing factor endowments across income levels. Beyond export growth, population, and development, there are no significant and positive relationships between the expected drivers of entrepreneurship and the frequency of discovery. Combined with the finding that higher absorptive capacity and lower barriers to entry are associated with a reduction in discovery, this suggests that market failures arising from imitation and free-riding may be inhibiting the emergence of new export products in developing countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Klinger, Bailey & Lederman, Daniel, 2004. "Discovery and development : an empricial exploration of"new"products," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3450, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3450
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. J. Peter Neary, 2003. "Competitive versus Comparative Advantage," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(4), pages 457-470, April.
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    6. Jörg Mayer & Arunas Butkevicius & Ali Kadri & Juan Pizarro, 2004. "Dynamic products in world exports," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 140(3), pages 762-795, September.
    7. Beck, Thorsten & Levine, Ross & Loayza, Norman, 2000. "Finance and the sources of growth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 261-300.
    8. Wolfgang Mayer, 1984. "The Infant-Export Industry Argument," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 17(2), pages 249-269, May.
    9. Hausmann, Ricardo & Rodrik, Dani, 2003. "Economic development as self-discovery," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 603-633, December.
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    11. Mattias Ganslandt & James R. Markusen, 2001. "Standards and Related Regulations in International Trade: A Modeling Approach," NBER Working Papers 8346, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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