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Working Paper

Are Jordan and Tunisia's Exports Becoming More Technologically Sophisticated? : Analysis Using Highly Disaggregated Export Databases

ACCOUNTABILITY ACCOUNTING AGRICULTURE AUTOMOBILE BENCHMARK BENCHMARKING BRAND BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS CAPABILITIES CAPITAL BASE CENTRALIZATION COMMERCE COMMERCIALIZATION COMPETITION POLICIES COMPETITIVENESS COST OF CAPITAL DECENTRALIZATION DEMOGRAPHIC DEVELOPING COUNTRIES DEVELOPING ECONOMIES DEVELOPMENT POLICY ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ECONOMIC INTEGRATION ECONOMIC RESEARCH ELASTICITY EMERGING ECONOMIES ENVIRONMENT FOR INNOVATION EQUIPMENT EQUIPMENTS EXCHANGE RATE EXCHANGE RATE REGIME EXPENDITURES EXPORT GROWTH EXPORT SECTOR EXTERNAL FINANCE EXTERNALITIES FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENTS FOREIGN EXCHANGE FREE TRADE FREE TRADE AGREEMENT FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS GDP GDP DEFLATOR GENERAL EQUILIBRIUM ANALYSIS GLOBAL ECONOMY GLOBAL EXPORTS GLOBAL MARKET GLOBAL MARKETS GLOBALIZATION GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION GROSS VALUE GROWTH RATE GROWTH STRATEGIES HUMAN CAPITAL IMPLICIT PENSION DEBT INCOME INCOME ELASTICITY INDUSTRY SCOREBOARD INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION INNOVATION POLICY INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHT INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS INTERFACE INTERNATIONAL COMPARISON INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIVENESS INTERNATIONAL TRADE INVENTORIES INVESTMENT CLIMATE JOB CREATION KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT LABOR MARKET LABOR MARKETS LABOR POLICY LEGISLATION LIBERALIZATION MACROECONOMIC MANAGEMENT MANDATES MANUFACTURING MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES MARKET ACCESS MARKET FAILURES MARKET LEADERS MARKET SHARE MARKETING MATERIAL MERCHANDISE MERCHANDISE EXPORTS MIDDLE-INCOME COUNTRIES MIGRATION NATURAL RESOURCE NATURAL RESOURCES NETWORKS NEW PRODUCT OBSOLESCENCE OUTPUT PENSION POLICY SUPPORT PRIVATE INVESTMENT PRIVATE SECTOR PRODUCT CATEGORIES PRODUCT CATEGORY PRODUCTION PROCESSES PRODUCTIVITY PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION PUBLIC DEBT PUBLIC SERVICES R&D RADIO RESULT RESULTS SALES SCIENCE FOUNDATION SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT SPREAD STATISTICAL ANALYSIS STRUCTURAL CHANGE SUPPLIERS SURPLUS SURPLUS LABOR TAX TAX SYSTEM TAXONOMIES TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION TELECOM TELECOMMUNICATION TELECOMMUNICATIONS TOTAL FACTOR PRODUCTIVITY TOTAL SALES TRADE LIBERALIZATION TRADITIONAL MARKET TRANSPORT UNEMPLOYMENT UNEMPLOYMENT RATE USES VALUE ADDED VALUE CHAIN WAGES WORLD DEVELOPMENT INDICATORS WORLD ECONOMY WORLD MARKET WORLD TRADE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION WTO
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World Bank, Washington, DC
Middle East and North Africa | Jordan | Tunisia
2017-05-19T21:12:43Z | 2017-05-19T21:12:43Z | 2012-02

There is a growing consensus that what you export matters for growth (see for instance, Haussman and al. 2007 and Krishna and Maloney (2011)). This paper examines whether and to what extent Jordan and Tunisia, the two most globally integrated countries of the Middle East and North Africa region, are moving up the technological ladder. To that effect, we use two highly disaggregated panel export database (products captured at the 11-digit level) and a 'product-based' methodology that allows a mapping of products classified by technological content and their sector of origin. We find that Jordan and Tunisia have experienced contrasting dynamics over the last decade. Thanks to its large exports of pharmaceutical products, Jordan enjoys a much higher share of high tech products in its export basket (11.5 percent versus 5.4 percent respectively) but this share has been declining over time due to the rapid rise of exports of textiles products. In contrast, from a very low basis, Tunisia has been catching up thanks to a slow but steady rise in medium-high tech products (electronics and mechanical components) and a corresponding decline in the preeminence of exports of textile products. Interestingly, success stories identified in both countries are all associated with the establishment of an 'enclave' where transparent 'rules of the game' are credibly enforced with the help of an external policy anchor either through international agreements (e.g. Jordan's free trade agreement with the US and the signature of and compliance with WTO's Intellectual Property Rights) or the establishment of a 'special zone/regime' such as Tunisia's 'offshore' regime and Jordan's Qualifying Industrial Zone. This finding underscores the importance of overcoming institutional weaknesses and establishing transparent and rules-based Government-business relationships as a pre-requisite for successful global integration in developing countries countries.

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