This is a paper prepared for the project on “China and the Global Economy 2010” of the China Economic Research and Advisory Program. I am indebted to Edwin Lim for his guidance and comments, and to the Program for financial support. Comments from Yu Yongding and Adrian Wood have also been very helpful. Oeindrila Dube performed superb research assistance.
What's So Special about China's Exports?
Article first published online: 28 SEP 2006
China & World Economy
Volume 14, Issue 5, pages 1–19, September/October 2006
How to Cite
Rodrik, D. (2006), What's So Special about China's Exports?. China & World Economy, 14: 1–19. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-124X.2006.00038.x
- Issue published online: 28 SEP 2006
- Article first published online: 28 SEP 2006
- China export;
- comparative advantage;
- consumer electronics;
- trade pattern
Much more than comparative advantage and free markets have been at play in shaping China's export success. Government policies have helped nurture domestic capabilities in consumer electronics and other advanced areas that would most likely not have developed in their absence. As a result, China has ended up with an export basket that is significantly more sophisticated than what would be normally expected for a country at its income level. This has been an important determinant of China's rapid growth. What matters for China's future growth is not the volume of exports, but whether China will continue to latch on to higher-income products over time.
(Edited by Xiaoming Feng)