Complexity and Productive Structure in Latin America: A Network Analysis of Trade Patterns
Beatriz Calzada Olvera and
No 16, CAFE Working Papers from Centre for Applied Finance and Economics (CAFE), Birmingham City Business School, Birmingham City University
While plenty of existing literature focuses on Latin America’s trade relations with key partners, i.e. the US and China, and on its insertion into global value chains, intra-regional trade networks remain understudied. In this paper, we contribute to the understanding of the latter by looking at trade patterns in the region, focusing on how balanced and unbalanced trade occurs among Latin American countries and selected trade partners. We first develop an Index of Modern Balanced Trade (IMBT) that identifies balanced trade relations based on the share of complex goods that is exported and imported among two countries using data from the Observatory of Economic Complexity (Hausmann & Hidalgo, 2014). Based on the IMBT, we then build two types of networks (Balanced and Unbalanced Trade Networks) in three different years that represent specific moments in Latin American economic history. We find that, as expected, most Latin American countries’ relations with partners outside the region remain largely unbalanced. However, our results also show that the Balanced Trade Network within the region has steadily expanded.
Keywords: Latin America; Trade Integration; Network Analysis; Economic Complexity. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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