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Making room for new competitors. A comparative perspective on Italy’s exports in the euro-area market

Silvia Fabiani (), Alberto Felettigh (), Claire Giordano () and Roberto Torrini ()

No 530, Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) from Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area

Abstract: Over the last two decades Italy’s intra-euro area export performance has been weak when compared with that of Germany and Spain, but not in relation to France. This paper first tracks the heterogeneous developments in the four countries’ goods exports in the euro-area market across different sub-periods and product categories. It then discusses some potential determinants of these dynamics: price competitiveness and the entry of new competitors, namely China and the Central and Eastern European countries (the “CEE6”), in the euro-area market. By exploiting several datasets and by using different techniques, the paper quantitatively explores the impact of developments in intra-euro area price competitiveness; it analyzes the role played by China and by the CEE6 in displacing the four economies’ exports in the euro-area market and in activating their total exports via the heightened import demand stemming from the new competitors. These effects are found to be heterogeneous across the four countries, and generally more unfavourable for Italy, thereby helping to explain the country’s relative underperformance, at least vis-à-vis Germany.

Keywords: goods exports; global value chains; competition from low-wage economies; euro area (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F00 F10 F40 F62 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eec, nep-int and nep-opm
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