Why is trade between the European Union and the transition economies vertical?

Gabrisch, Hubert and Segnana, Maria Luigia (2002) Why is trade between the European Union and the transition economies vertical? UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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    Trade between the European Union (EU) and the Transition Economies (TE) is increasingly characterised by intra-industry trade. The decomposition of intra-industry trade into horizontal and vertical shares reveals predominantly vertical structures with decisively more quality advantages for the EU and less quality advantages for TE countries whenever trade has been liberalised. Empirical research on factors determining this structure in an EU-TE framework lags behind theoretical and empirical research on horizontal and vertical trade in other regions of the world. The main objective of this paper is therefore to contribute to the ongoing debate on EU-TE trade structures by offering an explanation of vertical trade. We utilise a crosscountry approach in which relative wage differences, country size and income distribution play a leading role. We find first that relative differences in wages (per capita income) and country size explain intra-industry trade when trade is vertical and completely liberalised, and second that cross country differences in income distribution play no explanatory role. We conclude that EU firms have been able to increase their product quality and to shift lowquality segments to TE countries. This may suggest a product-quality cycle prevalent in EUTE trade.

    Item Type: Departmental Technical Report
    Department or Research center: Economics
    Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
    H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD2321 Industry
    H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Intra-industry trade - eastern Europe
    Report Number: 7
    Repository staff approval on: 25 Mar 2003

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