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Development-Related Biases in Factor Productivities and the HOV Model of Trade

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  • Keith E. Maskus
  • Shuichiro Nishioka

Abstract

Past empirical failures of the basic Heckscher-Ohlin-Vanek (HOV) model related to the inability of data to meet its restrictive assumptions, particularly identical international technologies and factor price equalization. Trefler (1993) tried to resuscitate HOV by introducing a simple Hicks-neutral (HN) factor-productivity adjustment, an approach that was heavily criticized. In this paper, we re-examine the productivity question by estimating factor-specific productivities from the individual technology data of multiple countries. Using a dataset of 29 countries, both developed and developing, we find evidence of factor-augmenting technological differences. In particular, the factor-productivity adjustment works well for developed members of the OECD. Further, we find that the ratios of factor productivities are strongly correlated with corresponding factor endowments. This systematic bias implies that the ability of HOV to explain North-South factor trade depends both on relative factor abundance and factor-augmenting productivity gaps.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2253.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2253

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Keywords: Heckscher-Ohlin-Vanek; factor trade; productivity;

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References

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  1. Doireann Fitzgerald & Juan Carlos Hallak, 2002. "Specialization, Factor Accumulation and Development," Working Papers 488, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  2. Harry P. Bowen & Edward E. Leamer & Leo Sveikauskas, 1986. "Multicountry, Multifactor Tests of the Factor Abundance Theory," NBER Working Papers 1918, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Keith E. Maskus & Shuichiro Nishioka, 2009. "Development-related biases in factor productivities and the HOV model of trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(2), pages 519-553, May.
  4. Gordon H. Hanson & Robert C. Feenstra, 2000. "Aggregation Bias in the Factor Content of Trade: Evidence from U.S. Manufacturing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 155-160, May.
  5. Lai, Huiwen & Zhu, Susan Chun, 2007. "Technology, endowments, and the factor content of bilateral trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 389-409, April.
  6. Hakura, Dalia S., 2001. "Why does HOV fail?: The role of technological differences within the EC," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 361-382, August.
  7. Davis, Donald R. & David E. Weinstein & Scott C. Bradford & Kazushige Shimpo, 1997. "Using International and Japanese Regional Data to Determine When the Factor Abundance Theory of Trade Works," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 421-46, June.
  8. Debaere, Peter & Demiroglu, Ufuk, 2003. "On the similarity of country endowments," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 101-136, January.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. James Cassing & Shuichiro Nishioka, 2009. "Nonhomothetic Tastes and Missing Trade of Factor Services," Working Papers 09-03, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
  2. Chor, Davin, 2010. "Unpacking sources of comparative advantage: A quantitative approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 152-167, November.
  3. Maggie Xiaoyang Chen & Sumit Joshi, 2010. "Third-Country Effects on the Formation of Free Trade Agreements," Working Papers 2008-16, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
  4. Artal-Tur, Andrés & Castillo-Giménez, Juana & Llano-Verduras, Carlos & Requena-Silvente, Francisco, 2011. "The factor content of regional bilateral trade: The role of technology and demand," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 157-172, April.
  5. Puzzello, Laura, 2012. "A proportionality assumption and measurement biases in the factor content of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 105-111.
  6. Nishioka, Shuichiro, 2013. "R&D, trade in intermediate inputs, and the comparative advantage of advanced countries," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 96-110.
  7. Fadinger, Harald, 2011. "Productivity differences in an interdependent world," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 221-232, July.
  8. Fisher, Eric O'N., 2011. "Heckscher-Ohlin theory when countries have different technologies," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 202-210, April.
  9. Keith E. Maskus & Shuichiro Nishioka, 2008. "Development-Related Biases in Factor Productivities and the HOV Model of Trade," CESifo Working Paper Series 2253, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Daniel Trefler & Susan Chun Zhu, 2005. "The Structure of Factor Content Predictions," NBER Working Papers 11221, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Marshall, Kathryn G., 2012. "International productivity and factor price comparisons," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 386-390.
  12. Nishioka, Shuichiro, 2012. "International differences in production techniques: Implications for the factor content of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 98-104.
  13. Stratford Douglas & Shuichiro Nishioka, 2009. "International Differences in Emissions Intensity and Emissions Content of Global Trade," Working Papers 09-02, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
  14. Shuichiro Nishioka, 2009. "Reconsidering the Role of Capital Accumulation for International Specialization across Industries," Working Papers 09-13, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
  15. Kris James Mitchener & Se Yan, 2010. "Globalization, Trade & Wages: What Does History tell us about China?," NBER Working Papers 15679, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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