14:15 - 15:45
Development in Task Space
This paper studies the relation between growth and task specialization in trade. We measure the task content of exports using world input-output tables for sixty-two advanced and developing countries from 2000 to 2018.
Tasks are identified through a mapping from data on occupational categories of workers in detailed industries. We find that the probability for a country to specialize in a particular new task is far from random and correlates strongly with the proximity of this task to the country’s current task set. This suggests that specialization in trade is generally characterized by path dependence as the country’s capabilities determine current set of tasks and govern what it will do in the future. However, the degree of path dependency differs considerably across countries. Preliminary regression results show significant faster GDP per capita growth for countries with a higher degree of path-defying task specialization.
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