Portuguese Economic Journal

, Volume 14, Issue 1–3, pp 5–30 | Cite as

Productive experience and specialization opportunities for Portugal: an empirical assessment

  • Miguel Lebre de FreitasEmail author
  • Luis Catela Nunes
  • Rui Costa Neves
  • Susana Salvado
Original Article


Following Hidalgo et al. (Sci Mag 317: 482–487, 2007), we use the structure of international trade to estimate a measure of “revealed relatedness” for each pair of internationally traded products, which intends to capture similarities in terms of the endowments or capabilities they use in production. Our method departs from the original one, in that we run statistical tests of equality in probabilities, instead of computing conditional probabilities. We estimate a matrix of “Revealed Relatedness Indexes” using 2005 data and we then investigate which “upscale” products in which Portugal didn’t develop comparative advantage are more related to products in which the country is currently specialized. The analysis suggests that more than 60 % of Portugal’s “upscale opportunities” lie in non-traditional sectors, such as “machinery” and “chemicals”.


International trade Comparative advantage PRODY The Portuguese economy 

JEL Classification

C14 F14 



The authors acknowledge the editor and two anonymous referees for helpful comments and suggestions. Luis Catela Nunes acknowledges support from FCT grant UID/ECO/00124/2013.


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Copyright information

© ISEG 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miguel Lebre de Freitas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Luis Catela Nunes
    • 2
  • Rui Costa Neves
    • 2
  • Susana Salvado
    • 3
  1. 1.Universidade de Aveiro and NIPE, DEGEI, Universidade de AveiroAveiroPortugal
  2. 2.Nova School of Business and EconomicsUniversidade Nova de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  3. 3.Banco de PortugalLisbonPortugal

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