The abundance of natural resources in Latin American countries poses a challenge for governments when designing their public policies for economic growth. Moreover, in recent years the increase in the price of commodities has stimulated a rise in the terms of trade and a tendency towards export concentration. At the same time, today there is more agreement than ever on the role of export diversification in enhancing economic growth in developing economies. This chapter presents a detailed description of the export behaviour of 15 countries in Latin America between 1990 and 2012, focusing on export diversification in terms of commodities and markets. Also we decompose the export growth rate into the contribution of existing, new and disappearing exports. We find that exports in Latin America have diversified, with Mexico, Brazil and Argentina being the most diverse. However, in all the Latin American countries export growth is strongly dependent on existing exports rather than on new exports.
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