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The Multi-Sectoral Thirlwall’s Law: evidence from 14 developed European countries using product-level data

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Romero, JP 
McCombie, JSL 


The paper reports estimates of import and export functions for five technological sectors in 14 developed European countries. These functions have never before been estimated for developed countries adopting a technological classification of sectors. The paper compares estimates of income elasticities found using vector errorcorrection models employing aggregate deflators, with estimates found using crossproduct panels employing product-specific quality-adjusted price indexes recently calculated by Feenstra and Romalis (2014). The results indicate that the income elasticities of imports and exports are higher for medium- and high-tech manufactures, which suggests the importance of moving from the production of simple goods to the production of goods with high technological content. The estimates suggest also that the Multi-Sectoral Thirlwall’s Law holds for the countries analysed, while comparing the estimates revealed that cross-product panels with quality-adjusted prices generate considerably more robust results. The investigation reveals that using a more recent time period generates estimates of income elasticities of demand for primary products and resource based manufactures that tend to be higher than the estimates found by studies that have used longer time periods, while the opposite holds for low-, medium-, and high-tech manufactures.



balance-of-payments constraint, Multi-Sectoral Thirlwall’s Law, international trade, sectoral analysis, demand-led growth, error correction models, panel data estimations

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International Review of Applied Economics

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Informa UK Limited