Comparative advantage is an important indicator in the analysis of international trade flow; however, in empirical studies on agriculture it is often neglected. The purpose of this paper is to analyse global comparative advantage in the European Union (EU) wine industry and to test the duration and stability of trade indices.
The paper applies the theory of comparative advantages by using the Balassa indices to European wine trade (based on the 16 biggest producers) data from the period 2000-2013. Moreover, it applies stability and duration analysis on comparative advantages calculated.
Results suggest that Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain are the highest ranked European wine producers in the world market and have the largest comparative advantages. However, duration and stability tests indicate that trade advantages have weakened for the majority of these countries. The paper discusses a number of reasons for this downturn, including changes to Common Agricultural Policy wine regulation, economic crisis, and the rise of New World wine producers.
The originality of the paper is that it applies the theory of comparative advantage to top wine exporters in the EU. The paper also makes valuable contributions to the wine literature by analysing the duration and stability of comparative advantage in the global wine trade. Moreover, the identification of industry-specific causes for changing patterns in comparative advantage in the EU might be important to the wine industry.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the two anonymous referees for their useful comments and suggestions on earlier versions of the manuscript. This research was supported by the National Research, Development and Innovation Office Project No. K_119669 “Competitiveness of Agriculture in International Trade: A Global Perspective” as well as Project No. K_112394 “10 years of Accession: Lessons from the agri-food sector of the New Member States”.
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