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Global Trade in Sports Goods: International Specialisation of Major Trading Countries

Abstract : The analysis of international trade in sports goods is still in its infancy. In order to alleviate the sports economics ignorance in this area, an entirely new dataset is built up by extracting Comtrade data at the most disaggregated level (6 digits). The dataset covers 41 countries, 36 different sports goods, and 94-96% of global sports goods trade (1994-2004). The country sample is divided into five regional areas: North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA), EU + Switzerland, Eastern Europe, Asia and other emerging countries. A detailed snapshot of global trade in sports goods and its distribution by major areas, countries and products provides first empirical evidence about how much industrialisation in emerging countries and de-industrialisation in developed market economies have affected international specialisation, and indirectly tests multinational companies outsourcing and production relocation strategies in low unit cost countries in the sports goods industry. Then, studying export/import ratios and country's position in the global market, it appears that major trading areas are Asia, Europe and NAFTA. Major exporters are China, Hong Kong, the USA and France, and major importers are the USA, Japan, Germany, France, the UK and Italy. The biggest market shares are in sportswear, anoraks and gymnastic equipment trade. Asia, Eastern Europe and emerging countries have an excess balance in sports goods trade, whereas NAFTA and Europe are in deficit. Three indexes assess a country's comparative advantages and disadvantages and competitiveness, and describe international specialisation. NAFTA and Europe are specialised in equipment-intensive sports goods, while Asia, Eastern Europe and emerging countries are specialised in trite sports goods and some less equipment-intensive sports goods. NAFTA is not competitive in any sport good, Europe is competitive in skis, emerging countries and Eastern Europe in sportswear and anoraks, and Asia in sportswear, anoraks, rackets, balls, skates and gymnastic equipment. Such an international specialisation pattern fits with both assumptions of industrialisation/de-industrialisation and firms outsourcing strategies. A principal component analysis with hierarchical ascendant classification groups trite sports goods as opposed to intensive-equipment sports goods in global trade and shows that production relocation influences international trade specialisation. Major policy implications are that developed economies and multinational companies should continue investing in R&D in order to keep their comparative advantages in equipment-intensive sports goods, while Asian and emerging countries should more tightly supervise working conditions and child labour in their subcontracting producers that work for foreign multinational companies.
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Submitted on : Sunday, January 3, 2010 - 4:53:46 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, January 19, 2021 - 11:08:28 AM

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Madeleine Andreff, Wladimir Andreff. Global Trade in Sports Goods: International Specialisation of Major Trading Countries. European Sport Management Quarterly, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2009, 9 (3), pp.259-294. ⟨10.1080/16184740903024029⟩. ⟨halshs-00443697⟩

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