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Does economic complexity reduce output volatility in developing countries?

Barbaros Güneri and A. Yasemin Yalta

Bulletin of Economic Research, 2021, vol. 73, issue 3, 411-431

Abstract: Economic complexity measures the productive knowledge embedded in an economy by analysing the export structure of countries. Although the recent literature suggests that economic complexity might arise as a useful tool to lower output volatility by both diversifying export bundles and increasing the sophistication of exports, the empirical evidence on this issue is rather scarce. We contribute to the existing literature by investigating the effect of economic complexity on output volatility for a large set of developing countries. To this end, we apply a panel vector auto regression (PVAR) methodology, which allows us to capture the dynamic interrelationships between variables. The findings of the paper robust to the alternative specifications reveal that economic complexity affects output volatility negatively. Hence, economic policies aimed at diversifying productive capabilities and export bundles should be one of the major priorities in developing countries.

Date: 2021
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