Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

An Elementary Theory of Comparative Advantage

Contents:

Author Info

  • Arnaud Costinot

Abstract

Comparative advantage, whether driven by technology or factor endowment, is at the core of neoclassical trade theory. Using tools from the mathematics of complementarity, this paper offers a simple yet unifying perspective on the fundamental forces that shape comparative advantage. The main results characterize sufficient conditions on factor productivity and factor supply to predict patterns of international specialization in a multifactor generalization of the Ricardian model which we refer to as an "elementary neoclassical economy." These conditions, which hold for an arbitrarily large number of countries, goods, and factors, generalize and extend many results from the previous trade literature. They also offer new insights about the joint effects of technology and factor endowments on international specialization. Copyright 2009 The Econometric Society.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.3982/ECTA7636
File Function: link to full text
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Econometric Society in its journal Econometrica.

Volume (Year): 77 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (07)
Pages: 1165-1192

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:77:y:2009:i:4:p:1165-1192

Contact details of provider:
Phone: 1 212 998 3820
Fax: 1 212 995 4487
Email:
Web page: http://www.econometricsociety.org/
More information through EDIRC

Order Information:
Email:
Web: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/memb.asp?ref=0012-9682

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Antras, Pol & Helpman, Elhanan, 2004. "Global Sourcing," Scholarly Articles 3196327, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Franziska Ohnsorge & Daniel Trefler, 2004. "Sorting It Out: International Trade and Protection With Heterogeneous Workers," NBER Working Papers 10959, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Chor, Davin, 2010. "Unpacking sources of comparative advantage: A quantitative approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 152-167, November.
  4. Yanagawa, Noriyuki, 1996. "Economic development in a world with many countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 271-288, May.
  5. Costinot, Arnaud & Komunjer, Ivana, 2006. "What Goods Do Countries Trade? New Ricardian Predictions," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt86n316hw, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  6. Karlin, Samuel & Rinott, Yosef, 1980. "Classes of orderings of measures and related correlation inequalities. I. Multivariate totally positive distributions," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 467-498, December.
  7. Kiminori Matsuyama, 2004. "Credit Market Imperfections and Patterns of International Trade and Capital Flows," Discussion Papers 1389, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. Legros, Patrick & Newman, Andrew F, 2002. "Monotone Matching in Perfect and Imperfect Worlds," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(4), pages 925-42, October.
  9. Luis Garicano & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2006. "Organization and Inequality in a Knowledge Economy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1383-1435, November.
  10. John Romalis, 2004. "Factor Proportions and the Structure of Commodity Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 67-97, March.
  11. Davis, Donald R., 1995. "Intra-industry trade: A Heckscher-Ohlin-Ricardo approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 201-226, November.
  12. Kiminori Matsuyama, 1996. "Why Are There Rich and Poor Countries? Symmetry-Breaking in the World Economy," NBER Working Papers 5697, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-46, July-Aug..
  14. Susan Athey, 2002. "Monotone Comparative Statics Under Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 187-223, February.
  15. R. Dornbusch & S. Fischer & P. A. Samuelson, 1976. "Comparative Advantage, Trade and Payments in a Ricardian Model With a Continuum of Goods," Working papers 178, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  16. Epple, Dennis & Romer, Thomas, 1991. "Mobility and Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 828-58, August.
  17. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1990. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Discussion Papers 911, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  19. Jewitt, Ian, 1987. "Risk Aversion and the Choice between Risky Prospects: The Preservation of Comparative Statics Results," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 73-85, January.
  20. Paul R. Milgrom, 1981. "Good News and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 380-391, Autumn.
  21. Acemoglu, Daron & Ventura, Jaume, 2001. "The World Income Distribution," CEPR Discussion Papers 2973, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Ethier, Wilfred J., 1984. "Higher dimensional issues in trade theory," Handbook of International Economics, in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 3, pages 131-184 Elsevier.
  23. Jones, Ronald W & Scheinkman, Jose A, 1977. "The Relevance of the Two-Sector Production Model in Trade Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(5), pages 909-35, October.
  24. Shimer, R. & Smith, L., 1998. "Assortive Matching and Search," Papers 98-09, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  25. Paul Milgrom & Robert J. Weber, 1981. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Discussion Papers 447R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  26. Vogel, Jonathan, 2007. "Institutions and moral hazard in open economies," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 495-514, April.
  27. An, Mark Yuying, 1998. "Logconcavity versus Logconvexity: A Complete Characterization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 350-369, June.
  28. Ruffin, Roy J, 1988. "The Missing Link: The Ricardian Approach to the Factor Endowments Theory of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 759-72, September.
  29. Acemoglu, D., 1997. "Why Do New Technologies Complement Skills? Directed Technical Change and Wage Inequality," Working papers 97-14, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  30. Andrei A. Levchenko, 2004. "Institutional Quality and International Trade," IMF Working Papers 04/231, International Monetary Fund.
  31. Nathan Nunn, 2007. "Relationship-Specificity, Incomplete Contracts, and the Pattern of Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(2), pages 569-600, 05.
  32. Deardorff, Alan V, 1980. "The General Validity of the Law of Comparative Advantage," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(5), pages 941-57, October.
  33. Costinot, Arnaud, 2009. "On the origins of comparative advantage," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 255-264, April.
  34. Athey, Susan, 2002. "Monotone Comparative Statics Under Uncertainty," Scholarly Articles 3372263, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  35. Trefler, Daniel, 1993. "International Factor Price Differences: Leontief Was Right!," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 961-87, December.
  36. Peter M. Morrow, 2008. "East is East and West is West: A Ricardian-Heckscher-Ohlin Model of Comparative Advantage," Working Papers 575, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. “An Elementary Theory of Comparative Advantage,” A. Costinot (2009)
    by afinetheorem in A Fine Theorem on 2013-04-30 03:43:14
  2. “An Elementary Theory of Comparative Advantage,” A. Costinot (2009)
    by afinetheorem in A Fine Theorem on 2013-04-30 03:43:14
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:77:y:2009:i:4:p:1165-1192. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.