Latin American Export Specialization and Growth: an inquiry into the nature of product competition between different exporters


Given Latin America general specialization in resource-based products, this paper focus on the question as to whether or not it is possible for a country specialized in resource-based products to have high rates of export and growth. To do that, an attempt is made to develop and apply a new taxonomy to a sample of resource-based products exported by Latin American countries to the US. This taxonomy is based on the role played by prices in the mechanism through which countries compete in specific international product markets. Resource-based products are then classified as homogeneous, differentiated or highly-differentiated goods. The paper argues that exports of countries specialized in differentiated or highly-differentiated goods tend to be much more dynamic than of those specialized in homogeneous goods.

Keywords: trade specialization, export growth, resource-based goods, law of one price, homogeneous goods and differentiated goods.

JEL numbers: F1, F14 and F43.

Jorge Chami BATISTA
Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration
Kobe University
Rokkodai-cho, Nada-ku, Kobe
657-8501 Japan
Phone: (81) 78 803 7036
Fax: (81) 78 803 7059