This paper uses dynamic shift-share analysis to examine Singapore's export performance in electronics and chemicals in the export markets of the United States, the European Union, and Japan over the period 1988-2001. It compares Singapore's export competitive position against a group of reference economies: China, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, and Taiwan, which are close competitors in these markets. Previous studies on Singapore using shift-share methods have tended to focus on the one- or two-digit export classification. By contrast, the present paper looks at specific three-digit electronics categories and chemicals which are particularly important for analysing Singapore's current and future export strengths and weaknesses. Our findings identify 1996 as a turning point, after which Singapore's net positive gains in electronics exports compared with the reference economies shifted towards losses, but this need not be a problem if Singapore can continue to evolve from exporting final electronics products to the developed markets, to supplying higher end intermediate electronics components to support assembly-type operations in the other East Asian economies. Chemicals have also emerged as a possible new source of growth within the manufacturing sector.


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pp. 160-185
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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