A simple cross-country index of trade specialization

João Amador, Sónia Cabral, José R. Maria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We propose a cross-country specialization index - the B{star operator} - defined as the share of a given product in total country's exports "normalized" by the average share across all countries. This indicator draws from the Revealed Comparative Advantage index suggested by Balassa (Manch Sch Econ Soc Stud 33(2):99-123, 1965), but its dynamic and cardinal properties are more suitable to perform a cross-country analysis over time. This feature is illustrated with a simple two-country by two-product stylized example and complemented with empirical evidence derived from 79 countries/groups of countries and four distinct technological sectors since the late sixties. We also provide empirical evidence on the external shape of the distribution of the B{star operator} and on its intra-distribution dynamics in different technological sectors. The results indicate that the overall degree of specialization is higher for high-tech exports than for low-tech exports. From a dynamic point of view, there is evidence of significant persistence of the cross-country export patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-461
Number of pages15
JournalOpen Economies Review
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2011

Fingerprint

Trade specialization
Empirical evidence
Operator
Distribution dynamics
Cross-country analysis
Persistence
High-tech
Revealed comparative advantage

Keywords

  • Balassa index
  • Export specialization
  • International trade

Cite this

Amador, João ; Cabral, Sónia ; Maria, José R. / A simple cross-country index of trade specialization. In: Open Economies Review. 2011 ; Vol. 22, No. 3. pp. 447-461.
@article{61ec86a287924e97a7f8e1b2d01ec1d9,
title = "A simple cross-country index of trade specialization",
abstract = "We propose a cross-country specialization index - the B{star operator} - defined as the share of a given product in total country's exports {"}normalized{"} by the average share across all countries. This indicator draws from the Revealed Comparative Advantage index suggested by Balassa (Manch Sch Econ Soc Stud 33(2):99-123, 1965), but its dynamic and cardinal properties are more suitable to perform a cross-country analysis over time. This feature is illustrated with a simple two-country by two-product stylized example and complemented with empirical evidence derived from 79 countries/groups of countries and four distinct technological sectors since the late sixties. We also provide empirical evidence on the external shape of the distribution of the B{star operator} and on its intra-distribution dynamics in different technological sectors. The results indicate that the overall degree of specialization is higher for high-tech exports than for low-tech exports. From a dynamic point of view, there is evidence of significant persistence of the cross-country export patterns.",
keywords = "Balassa index, Export specialization, International trade",
author = "Jo{\~a}o Amador and S{\'o}nia Cabral and Maria, {Jos{\'e} R.}",
year = "2011",
month = "7",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1007/s11079-009-9130-z",
language = "English",
volume = "22",
pages = "447--461",
journal = "Open Economies Review",
issn = "0923-7992",
publisher = "Springer Science Business Media",
number = "3",

}

A simple cross-country index of trade specialization. / Amador, João; Cabral, Sónia; Maria, José R.

In: Open Economies Review, Vol. 22, No. 3, 01.07.2011, p. 447-461.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - A simple cross-country index of trade specialization

AU - Amador, João

AU - Cabral, Sónia

AU - Maria, José R.

PY - 2011/7/1

Y1 - 2011/7/1

N2 - We propose a cross-country specialization index - the B{star operator} - defined as the share of a given product in total country's exports "normalized" by the average share across all countries. This indicator draws from the Revealed Comparative Advantage index suggested by Balassa (Manch Sch Econ Soc Stud 33(2):99-123, 1965), but its dynamic and cardinal properties are more suitable to perform a cross-country analysis over time. This feature is illustrated with a simple two-country by two-product stylized example and complemented with empirical evidence derived from 79 countries/groups of countries and four distinct technological sectors since the late sixties. We also provide empirical evidence on the external shape of the distribution of the B{star operator} and on its intra-distribution dynamics in different technological sectors. The results indicate that the overall degree of specialization is higher for high-tech exports than for low-tech exports. From a dynamic point of view, there is evidence of significant persistence of the cross-country export patterns.

AB - We propose a cross-country specialization index - the B{star operator} - defined as the share of a given product in total country's exports "normalized" by the average share across all countries. This indicator draws from the Revealed Comparative Advantage index suggested by Balassa (Manch Sch Econ Soc Stud 33(2):99-123, 1965), but its dynamic and cardinal properties are more suitable to perform a cross-country analysis over time. This feature is illustrated with a simple two-country by two-product stylized example and complemented with empirical evidence derived from 79 countries/groups of countries and four distinct technological sectors since the late sixties. We also provide empirical evidence on the external shape of the distribution of the B{star operator} and on its intra-distribution dynamics in different technological sectors. The results indicate that the overall degree of specialization is higher for high-tech exports than for low-tech exports. From a dynamic point of view, there is evidence of significant persistence of the cross-country export patterns.

KW - Balassa index

KW - Export specialization

KW - International trade

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=79959271592&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s11079-009-9130-z

DO - 10.1007/s11079-009-9130-z

M3 - Article

VL - 22

SP - 447

EP - 461

JO - Open Economies Review

JF - Open Economies Review

SN - 0923-7992

IS - 3

ER -