The evolution of global manufacturing prices from 1988-2006

By: Dinar Kale, Raphael Kaplinsky
Funding Body - ESRC
Funding period - Monday 07 October 2013

This paper analyses the pattern of price changes between 1989 and 2006 of imports into the EU, Japan and the US and compares the price change of exports from China with the price changes of exports from other countries grouped by income level, distinguishing among goods of different technological intensity.

Main Objectives:

By analysing the evolution of the prices of globally traded manufactures in the period between 1988 and 2005, to determine:

  • Whether the prices-trends of goods exported by China behave differently to those exported by different categories of economies
  • Whether the price-trends of globally traded goods behave differently depending on their embodied technological content.

This analysis feeds into the literatures on the terms of trade, globalisation and the changing geography of global manufacturing competences, and builds on related research completed in 2003.

Main findings

This project finds that the level and growth pattern of unit prices of China’s exports are similar to those of the products from the middle income countries. Their unit prices are generally lower than those of exports from high-income economies, and grow significantly slower than those of the low and high income group countries


Fu, Xiaolan; Kaplinsky, Raphael and Zhang, Jing (2012). The impact of China on low and middle income countries’ export prices in industrial-country markets. World Development, 40(8), pp. 1483–1496

Fu, Xiaolan; Kale, Dinar and Kaplinsky, Raphie (2011). Global manufactures prices: how do China’s exports compare? In: Fu, Xiaolan ed. China’s Role in Global Economic Recovery. Routledge Studies on the Chinese Economy. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, pp. 127–145.


Raphael Kaplinksy

Email: Raphael Kaplinsky

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