Felipe Starosta De Waldemar participated to the “First World Congress of Comparative Economics“, at Roma Tre, from the 25th to the 27th of June. Felipe presented the paper Export diversification and the legacy of the Soviet Union, co-authored with Patrick Domingues.
This paper contributes to the analysis of countries’ export diversification dynamics using a quasinatural experiment provided by the fall of the USSR. Using cross-sectional estimations, this paper offers evidence on the exogenous relationship between the Soviet legacy and export diversification using a sample of former members of the Soviet Union and European countries. We measure this legacy using a proxy variable based on a country’s energy production infrastructure, as this dimension reflected Moscow’s influence because it was used as a foreign policy tool. The energy production technology gap (EPTG) variable is constructed as the Euclidean distance between a country’s share of each of the six main electricity production sources and the corresponding ratio for Russia. We find that the greater the EPTG, the higher the degree of export diversification ceteris paribus. An inefficient legacy, unfavorable to diversification, which arose from the Soviet period, constituted a blockage in the export diversification process after the fall of the USSR.
Keywords: export diversification, Soviet Union, institutions, energy
JEL Classification: O11, P28, F14