EcoAustria - Institute for Economic Research, Vienna
In economic literature, economic complexity is typically approximated on the basis of an economy's gross export structure. However, in times of ever increasingly integrated global value chains, gross exports may convey an inaccurate image of a country's economic performance since they also incorporate foreign valueadded and double-counted exports. Thus, I introduce a new empirical approach approximating economic complexity based on a country's value-added export structure. This approach leads to substantially different complexity rankings compared to established metrics. Moreover, the explanatory power of GDP per capita growth rates for a sample of 40 lower-middle to high-income countries is considerably higher, even if controlling for typical growth regression covariates.