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Institutions and International Trade: A Reconsideration of Comparative Advantage

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  • Marianna Belloc

Abstract

Persistent inconsistency between predictions of standard theoretical models and empirical evidence of international trade dynamics suggests that the traditional understanding of the determinants of actual international trade patterns is incomplete. What is missing? A recent literature suggests paying more attention to the role of the domestic institutional environment. The level and nature of development of the relevant institutions may be shown to affect competitiveness, by altering both production and transaction costs. In the extreme case, alternative institutional architectures that emerge in different countries may be interpreted as the cause of relative advantage/disadvantage even if technological levels, factor endowments and tastes are identical everywhere. Although in standard international trade models institutions remain implicit, it is hard to explain trade patterns and international competitiveness without taking institutions explicitly into consideration. By reviewing and reorganizing the most interesting contributions on this issue, this survey discusses how institutional diversity affects comparative advantage and international trade dynamics. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 2006.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Economic Surveys.

Volume (Year): 20 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (02)
Pages: 3-26

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jecsur:v:20:y:2006:i:1:p:3-26

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Cited by:
  1. Marianna Belloc & Samuel Bowles, 2009. "International Trade, Factor Mobility and the Persistence of Cultural-Institutional Diversity," Working Papers 126, University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics.
  2. Muhammad, Andrew & D’Souza, Anna & Amponsah, William, 2013. "Violence, Instability, and Trade: Evidence from Kenya’s Cut Flower Sector," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 20-31.
  3. Heyman, Fredrik & Gustavsson Tingvall, Patrik, 2012. "The Dynamics of Offshoring and Institutions," Working Paper Series 919, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  4. Tingvall, Patrik, 2011. "Dynamic Effects of Corruption on Offshoring," Ratio Working Papers 182, The Ratio Institute.
  5. Söderlund, Bengt & Gustavsson Tingvall, Patrik, 2012. "Dynamic Effects of Institutions on Firm-Level Exports," Ratio Working Papers 184, The Ratio Institute.
  6. Buchen, Clemens, 2010. "Emerging economic systems in Central and Eastern Europe – a qualitative and quantitative assessment," EconStor Theses, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, number 37141.
  7. Aljaz Kuncic, 2012. "Institutional Determinants of Bilateral Trade: Taking Another Look," Kiel Advanced Studies Working Papers 462, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  8. Iwanow, Tomasz & Kirkpatrick, Colin, 2009. "Trade Facilitation and Manufactured Exports: Is Africa Different?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 1039-1050, June.
  9. Marianna Belloc & Samuel Bowles, 2010. "International Trade, Factor Mobility and the Persistence of Cultural-Institutional Diversity," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000051, David K. Levine.
  10. D'Souza, Anna, 2012. "The OECD Anti-Bribery Convention: Changing the currents of trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 73-87.
  11. Alessandro Bramucci & Antonello Zanfei, 2013. "The governance of offshoring and its effects at home The role of codetermination in the international organization of German firms," Working Papers 1309, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Department of Economics, Society & Politics - Scientific Committee - L. Stefanini & G. Travaglini, revised 2013.

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