Commodity Dependence

A Twenty-Year Perspective

image of Commodity Dependence

A country is considered to be dependent on commodity exports when commodities constitute the predominant share of its exports. The combination of a high concentration of exports and the large share of commodities in those exports has important implications for development. In particular, export concentration on primary commodities, or “commodity dependence”, has long been conceptually and empirically linked with underdevelopment. Despite the importance of measuring and analysing commodity dependence, there have been few efforts to empirically analyse and monitor its different dimensions, apart from some national or regional studies. This study seeks to fill this gap by contributing to a better monitoring of world commodity dependence and improving an understanding of the challenges it poses to development.



Conclusions and brief policy discussion

This study has reviewed the characteristics and evolution of commodity dependence around the world during the 20-year period from 1998 to 2017. In particular, it shows that export concentration in commodities is essentially a developing-country phenomenon, and that export diversification is positively correlated with the level of income (measured by the GDP per capita) of a country.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error