Export Product Upgrading in China: An Evolutionary Perspective

Authors: Canfei He*, Peking University
Topics: Economic Geography, China
Keywords: Exporting Upgrading, Relatedness, Product Sophistication, Product Quality, China
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Gallier B, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This study proposes a two-dimensional framework to explore the upgrading of Chinese manufacturing exporting products and pays more attention to the role of “space” in firm export upgrading, stressing the role of regional “capabilities” and regional agglomeration economies. Empirical studies show that Chinese regions have seen both quality growth (jump higher) and complexity growth (jump further) of exporting products. The coastal region tends to jump higher while inland regions are more likely to jump further. The traditional agglomeration economies support firm to jump higher while related agglomeration economies help firms to jump further. Un-relatedness however shows the crowing and competition effect to firm upgrading. In addition, firm diversification highly relies on regional existing capabilities, which could be depicted as path dependence. The regional “capabilities” works within a significant “space boundary effect”. There are significant regional disparities in China's export product upgrading, which is the result of the regional “capabilities” and spillover effect of agglomeration economies. Overall, this study not only makes up the product dynamics within firm in new trade theory and pays much more attention to the role of "Space", but also enriches the micro-product and multi-spatial level research in evolutionary economic geography. It offer insights into building the capabilities of “space” to support China's export upgrading.

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