pp 1–27 | Cite as

Power laws in EU country exports

Original Paper


International trade flows are highly concentrated in the top units of analysis. In this paper, we study the size distribution of exports at the product level, using Comext data for the 28 EU countries over the period 2002–2014. We fit power law relationships running log rank–log size regressions. The estimated Pareto exponent may be interpreted as a single measure of the inequality between the top products; it thus constitutes an alternative to other measures of export diversification. The Pareto exponent estimates are quite stable for most EU countries between 2002 and 2014. However, some countries stand out for their increase or decrease in the Pareto exponent. Some preliminary evidence suggesting negative correlation between volatility in EU country exports and export diversification at the product level is also provided.


Power law distribution Pareto exponent EU exports Comext data 

JEL Classification

F14 F15 C13 C16 



I would like to thank the editor for his help and two anonymous referees for their comments that substantially improved the paper. Financial support from the Consejería de Educación, Cultura y Deporte del Principado de Asturias, is acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Applied EconomicsUniversity of OviedoOviedoSpain

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