Intra-industry trade and the productivity gap in the enlarged EU
Trade between the European Union (EU) and the Transition Economies (TE) is increasingly characterised by intra-industry trade. The decomposition of intra-industry trade into horizontal and vertical shares reveals predominantly vertical structures with decisively more quality advantages for the EU and less quality advantages for TE countries whenever trade has been liberalised. Sizeable foreign direct investment did obviously not reduce the superiority of producers in the EU in terms of technology, capital and human capital. The productivity gap between the EU and TE countries remains. EU firms have been able to increase their product quality and to shift low-quality segments of production to TE countries. This may suggest a product-quality cycle prevalent in EU-TE trade. The testing of this model confirms the assumptions.