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Diverse twins: analysing China’s impact on Italian and German exports using a multilevel quantile regressions approach

Giorgia Giovannetti (), Marco Sanfilippo () and Margherita Velucchi ()

Applied Economics, 2018, vol. 50, issue 28, 3051-3065

Abstract: Germany and Italy are the largest manufacturing producers in Europe and export over 70% of their products to OECD countries. While they share many characteristics, they are also diverse in term of specialization and destination markets. Italy has a productive structure largely based on labour intensive sectors, while Germany is mainly specialized in high-tech goods. We study whether these characteristics make the two countries vulnerable in different ways to the competitive pressure by emerging economies, especially China, which experienced the strongest increase in export market share during the last decades. We discuss the impact of China on the export performance of Italy and Germany on OECD markets. Using data for the period 1995–2009, we implement a novel model to account for two important data characteristics: their hierarchical hidden structure (captured by a multilevel model) and the heterogeneity of the export shares (captured by a quantile approach). Results show that Chinese competition on Italy’s and Germany’s market shares differ by sectors, but, on average, Italy is not more vulnerable than Germany. These results are relevant for policy implications and for an ex-post analysis of the ‘best response’ to the Chinese competition.

Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2017.1414937

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