This paper examined structural changes in export specialization of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and China at different levels of technological intensity. The study found significant differences across these Asian economies, with most pronounced changes for exports with high technological intensity. To account for the changing export specialization, the study applied the classical Ricardian model of comparative advantages to export patterns of Japan and South Korea. We found that the export specialization of Japan was mainly determined by differences in fixed effects across industrial sectors, with changes in relative labor productivity much less important. In contrast, changes in productivity turned out an essential factor for explaining the recent export specialization of South Korea.
Recent Changes in Export Specialization by The Level of Technological Intensity