The paper uses the key role of technology as starting point in determining trade flows and international competitiveness at industry and country level as a growing number of theoretical contributions and empirical verifications have recognized over the past decade. The paper uses a set of new data on trade, production, technology and costs at industry level for a certain number of countries to relate trade performance to a set of different economic and technological factors across countries and industrial sectors since the early 1970s. A single model of trade specialization is applied to the data in order to establish the impact of innovation, costs and country specific factors to overall performance, both in the short run and the long run, via a panel data analysis. Model specification follows the cointegration approach, where a long-run cointegrating vector is estimated along with the dynamic adjustment towards long-run equilibrium. The paper presents some preliminary results, related to a certain number of different industrial sectors for the major industrialized countries.
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