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Empirical Relevance of the Hillman Condition and Comparative Advantage


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  • Jeroen Hinloopen

    (Faculty of Economics and Econometrics, Universiteit van Amsterdam)

  • Charles van Marrewijk

    (Faculty of Economics, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam)


We analyze the empirical violation of the Hillman condition, a necessary and sufficient condition for the correspondence between comparative advantage and pre-trade relative prices. Our comprehensive data set allows us to investigate the Hillman condition for virtually all countries of the world, over an extended period of time, for many sectors, and for different levels of aggregation. Violations of the Hillman condition are small as a share of the number of observations, but can be substantial as a share of the value of world exports. Measured either way, violations occurred much more frequently in the 1970s and early 1980s, a difference mostly caused by the two oil crises. As the condition is useful for identifying various anomalies, we argue that it should be included as a standard diagnostic test for empirical studies into comparative advantage.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 04-019/2.

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Date of creation: 10 Feb 2004
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20040019

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Keywords: Balassa index; Hillman condition; comparative advantage;

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  1. Štefan Bojnec, 2001. "Trade and Revealed Comparative Advantage Measures: Regional and Central and East European Agricultural Trade," Eastern European Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 39(2), pages 72-98, March.
  2. Imre Fert– & L. J. Hubbard, 2003. "Revealed Comparative Advantage and Competitiveness in Hungarian Agri-Food Sectors," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(2), pages 247-259, 02.
  3. Arye Hillman, 1980. "Observations on the relation between “revealed comparative advantage” and comparative advantage as indicated by pre-trade relative prices," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, Springer, vol. 116(2), pages 315-321, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Jambor, Attila, 2011. "Impacts of EU Accession on Hungarian Primary and Processed Agricultural Trade," 85th Annual Conference, April 18-20, 2011, Warwick University, Coventry, UK, Agricultural Economics Society 108946, Agricultural Economics Society.
  2. Jambor, Attila & Hubbard, Lionel J., 2012. "Changes in Hungarian Agri-Food Trade Since EU accession," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil, International Association of Agricultural Economists 126237, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  3. Torok, Aron & Jambor, Attila, 2012. "Changes in Agri-Food Trade of the New Member States since EU Accession – A Quantitative Approach," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil, International Association of Agricultural Economists 125140, International Association of Agricultural Economists.


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