The sophistication of exports: Is China special?

Bin Xu (First Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal

55 Citations (Web of Science)


Recent studies have found that China is “special” in exporting highly sophisticated goods not comparable with its income level. In this paper we identify two measurement biases that account for this “China is special” observation. First, product quality has not been fully considered in the measurement of sophistication, which has caused an overestimation of the sophistication of China's exports. Second, the average income of China has been used to measure the export capability of China, which has caused an underestimation of China's capability of exporting sophisticated goods. After correcting the two measurement biases, China appears much less as an outlier in the cross-country comparison of the sophistication of exports.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)482-493
JournalChina Economic Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Corresponding author email


  • China
  • Export structure
  • Product quality
  • Sophistication

Indexed by

  • ABDC-A
  • Scopus
  • SSCI


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