Fragmentation and East Asia's Information Technology Trade

Publication Type: 
Journal Name: 
Volume: 
39
Number: 
2
Page Numbers: 
215-228
Month/Season: 
Published On: 
2007

This article studies the growth and determinants of information technology (IT) trade in the Asia-Pacific region. We argue that the rise of IT trade must be understood within the context of increasing vertical fragmentation of production processes that has occurred over the past two decades. To evaluate this empirically, we estimate a set of pooled bilateral IT export equations for eight Asian countries, the USA and the EU, where foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows are introduced as a proxy for fragmentation. We apply a panel cointegration approach that allows for heterogeneity in short-run dynamics and in fixed effects. Consistent with production fragmentation, we find that the evolution of IT trade can be explained in part by traditional income and relative price effects but also by FDI inflows.