WIDER Discussion Papers // World Institute for Development Economics (UNU-WIDER) 2003/42
Market access liberalization has influenced product-specific growth of world exports and contributed to the shift in the structure of world exports of manufactures towards electrical and electronic goods (including parts and components), goods that require high R&D expenditures, and labour-intensive products such as clothing. Multilateral trade liberalization has strongly improved market access conditions for manufactures and partly explains why manufactures have experienced particularly strong growth in exports. The increased importance of vertical international production sharing and the associated preferential trading arrangements between geographically close countries with significantly different wage rates have been a key determinant of differences in export-value growth across individual manufactured products, as well as of the distribution of market shares for some of these products among developing countries. Projections based on a standard trade model suggest that moving to full trade liberalization would lead to an increase in the share of agricultural products in total world trade by almost two percentage points and give greater weight to the textile, clothing and automotive sectors within manufactured exports.
trade flows trade liberalization international production networks development policy