Date of Award

12-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Economics

Committee Member

Dr. Scott L. Baier, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Michal M. Jerzmanowski

Committee Member

Dr. Sergey Mityakov

Committee Member

Dr. Robert F. Tamura

Abstract

This dissertation consists of three chapters. These chapters use the export sophistication index introduced by Hausmann, Hwang, & Rodrik, (2007) that the sophistication of a country's export bundle could have significant implications for economic growth. The first chapter investigates if countries that acquire the capability of exporting more sophisticated products achieve higher growth rates. By examining 69, the results show that export sophistication is positively correlated with GDP per worker. While export sophistication is highly correlated with income per worker, some countries stand out as having relatively higher sophisticated scores than predicted by their development levels. Those countries have succeeded in transforming their exports from primary goods to more sophisticated commodities. As a result, their export sophistication scores increased significantly over the years. The objective of the second chapter is to use standard growth accounting techniques and applies these to the export sophistication to analyze the factor content of export and its sophistication level. I find that the exported products contain less physical capital, human capital, and TFP than the countries' average level of these factors. Also, the results indicate that countries' export sophistication growth has important consequences for subsequent economic growth. The third chapter investigates the direction of causality between export growth and total factor productivity as well as the causality between export growth and GDP growth. The regression results show that TFP growth has a significant impact on export growth but export growth does not play an important role in TFP growth. The causality is unidirectional, running from total factor productivity to exports.

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