Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography

February 5, 2014

# 14.07 Relatedness and Diversification in the EU-27 and ENP countries

Filed under: 2014 — Tags: , , , — mattehartog @ 10:44 am

Ron Boschma and Gianluca Capone

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This paper analyzes the process of industrial diversification in the EU-27 and ENP countries in the period 1995-2010 by means of world trade data derived from the BACI database (elaborated UN Comtrade data). Our results show that in both the EU-27 and the ENP countries, the evolution of the export mix is strongly path-dependent: countries tend to keep a comparative advantage in products that are strongly related to their current productive structure, and they also diversify in nearby products. However, this effect is much stronger for ENP countries, signalling their lower capabilities to diversify in products that are not very near to their productive structure. We also show that the future export structures of countries are affected by their imports: both the EU-27 and ENP countries keep a comparative advantage in products that are strongly related to their imports, but only EU countries show a strong capability to diversify in new products from related import sectors. Our results also hold when controlling  for geographical and institutional proximity.

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