La competitivitat de les manufactures catalanes a la Unió Europea des de la perspectiva del quality gap
The present doctoral thesis analyses the evolution and the determining factors of the competitiveness of the Catalan manufacturing sector in the EU-25 in period 1999-2004. The main contribution of the work is the application of the quality gap indicator to the competitiveness analysis. This indicator allows to compare the quality of the exports of each one of the territories with the EU average through the comparison of the unit values of exports for more than 10.000 manufacturing products.
The empirical analysis has four main objectives:
1. To analyse the competitiveness of the Catalan manufacturing sector in the EU and to point up the competitiveness problems.
2. To identify the determinants of the competitiveness problems.
3. To contrast that quality gap is a good indicator of competitiveness.
4. To analyse the patterns of competitiveness of the Catalan manufactures in the UE with the quality gap.
The conclusions of the doctoral thesis can be grouped in four blocks. A first set of conclusions has to do with the relation between the quality gap and the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector. For the 25 member states we verify the narrow relation among innovation capacity, productivity and quality gap. In addition we verify that quality gap explains better the differences in productivity than other more habitual indicators, like the intraindustrial or interindustrial specialization. The quality gap also contributes to explain the evolution of the external balance, although the relation between quality gap and evolution of the EU market share is less direct, in a period marked by the EU enlargement to the Central and Eastern European countries. In the period 1999-2004 Catalan manufactures have improved their quality gap and their market share in the EU, but the trade deficit has remained high. The second group of conclusions is related to the productivity. In Catalonia the productivity problems are not explained so much by the interindustrial specialization, that is similar to the one of the EU, like by the intraindustrial specialization conditioned by a lower innovation capacity. The analysis for the period 1999-2004 points at a change in the specialization of the Catalan manufacturing exports towards sectors more intensive in technology and with higher productivity, but in which Catalonia is positioned in a lower quality segment. The change of specialization is detected particularly in the intraindustrial trade, with a high and increasing tendency to the specialization in the segment of inferior quality and in the markets dominated by price competition. A third group of conclusions is related to the trade of intermediate products, that contributes to explain the high Catalan trade deficit. In period 1999-2004 the Catalan manufacturing companies have increased their propensity to import and the quality of their imports in relation to exports. The higher quality of the intermediate products favours the improvement of the exports quality gap and consequently the improvement of the market share, but it makes difficult the external balance of the Catalan economy. Finally, the indicator of quality gap provides relevant and additional information to the one of the traditional competitiveness indicators and allows to make a systematic analysis of the national patterns of competitiveness in the UE at a high level of disaggregation.
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Advisor:Lladós i Masllorens, Josep; Casals Couturier, Muriel
School:Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:804 institut universitari d estudis europeus
Date of Publication:12/19/2006