The evolving pattern of Hungary's agri-food trade is analysed using recently developed empirical procedures based on the classic Balassa index and its symmetric transformation. The extent of trade specialisation exhibits a declining trend; Hungary has lost comparative advantage for a number of product groups over time. The indices of specialisation have also tended to converge. For particular product groups, the indices display a less persistent pattern. They are stable for product groups with comparative disadvantage, but product groups with weak to strong comparative advantage show significant variation. The results reinforce the finding of a general decrease in specialisation, but do not support the idea of self-reinforcing mechanisms, emphasised strongly in much of the endogenous growth and trade literature.
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