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Determinants of export growth at the extensive and intensive margins : evidence from product and firm-level data for Pakistan

  • Reis, Jose Guilherme
  • Taglioni, Daria

As globalization progresses and investment is mobile, it is ever more important for policy makers to understand drivers of growth and exports at the micro-level: Which products are being produced and exported? Which firms populate the domestic economy? Are they successful in exporting? How are firms affected by exogenous shocks and policy intervention? Through the use of descriptive statistics and econometric analysis, this paper assesses the trade competitiveness of Pakistan using micro-data. The case of Pakistan is interesting since the country's recent trade policy has reverted to a protectionist path since the mid-2000s and trade performance is stagnating, as indicated by a decrease in its trade-to-gross domestic product ratio over the past decade and low levels of sophistication of exports. The main findings of the paper are the following. Like many other countries, Pakistan posts a high concentration of exports in the hands of a limited number of large exporters. The dominance of few exporters has increased over time and it seems associated with the changes in trade policy. Low rates of product innovation and experimentation and a low ability of the Pakistani export sector to enter into new higher growth sectors are other features emerging from the data. All in all, the mediocre performance seems to be associated with internal problems with trade-related incentives, business environment, and governance, in addition to the well-known external constraints.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6341.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2013
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6341
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  1. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(2), pages 441-487, 05.
  2. Bricongne, J-C. & Fontagné, L. & Gaulier, G. & Taglioni, D. & Vicard, V., 2009. "Firms and the global crisis: French exports in the turmoil," Working papers 265, Banque de France.
  3. Easterly, William & Reshef, Ariell & Schwenkenberg, Julia, 2009. "The power of exports," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5081, The World Bank.
  4. Costas Arkolakis & Marc-Andreas Muendler, 2010. "The Extensive Margin of Exporting Products: A Firm-level Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 3309, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Daniel Lederman & William F. Maloney, 2007. "Natural Resources : Neither Curse nor Destiny," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7183, June.
    • Anthony J. Venables & William Maloney & Ari Kokko & Claudio Bravo Ortega & Daniel Lederman & Roberto Rigobón & José De Gregorio & Jesse Czelusta & Shamila A. Jayasuriya & Magnus Blomström & L. Colin X, 2007. "Natural Resources: Neither Curse nor Destiny," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 59538 edited by William Maloney & Daniel Lederman.
  6. repec:idb:brikps:59538 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Jose Guilherme Reis & Thomas Farole, 2012. "Trade Competitiveness Diagnostic Toolkit," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2248, June.
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