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Export diversification, margins and economic growth at industrial level: Evidence from Thailand

Juthathip Jongwanich

The World Economy, 2020, vol. 43, issue 10, 2674-2722

Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between export diversification, export margins and economic growth at the industry level using Thailand as a case study during 2002–16. Our results show that the effects of export diversification and margins on economic growth vary across industries. Export diversification helps boost growth only in some sectors, including electronics, automotive and chemicals, plastic and rubber, while in the processed food, and textiles and apparel industries, specialisation matters more in promoting growth. In almost all industries, a non‐linear relationship between diversification and economic growth is not revealed, except in textiles and apparel. The diversification is crucial in enhancing the impact of exports on growth only in the processed food and textiles and apparel industries. Expansion of intensive margins plays an important role in boosting growth in key industries within Thailand. The role of extensive margins, both in terms of new products and new market destinations, in promoting economic growth is limited. For extensive margins (new products), it is found to be significant in boosting economic growth only in processed food and textiles and apparel, while in the case of extensive margins (new market destinations), its significance in boosting growth is revealed only in the electronics sector.

Date: 2020
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