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The growth of world trade

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  • Jun Ishii
  • Kei-Mu Yi

Abstract

The growth in the trade share of output is one of the most important features of the world economy since World War II. We show that an important propagation mechanism for this growth is vertical specialization. Simply put, vertical specialization occurs when imported inputs are used to produce goods that are then exported. We show that many of the standard trade models - the Ricardian model, the monopolistic competition model, and the international real business cycle models - cannot explain the growth in trade unless very high elasticities of demand and substitution are assumed. We then use case studies and other empirical evidence to demonstrate the quantitative significance of vertical specialization in trade. Finally, we develop a model of vertical specialization that can explain the growth in trade under reasonable elasticities, which suggests that vertical specialization has important implications for the gains from trade.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Research Paper with number 9718.

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Date of creation: 1997
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednrp:9718

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Keywords: International trade;

References

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  1. Devereux, Michael B, 1997. "Growth, Specialization, and Trade Liberalization," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(3), pages 565-85, August.
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  3. Sanyal, Kalyan K, 1983. "Vertical Specialization in a Ricardian Model with a Continuum of Stages of Production," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 50(197), pages 71-78, February.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Richard Baldwin, 2011. "Unilateral tariff liberalisation," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd10-159, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  2. Kei-Mu Yi, 2000. "Can vertical specialization explain the growth of world trade?," Staff Reports 96, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  3. Esteban Jaimovich & Vincenzo Merella, 2011. "Love for Quality, Comparative Advantage, and Trade," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 216, Collegio Carlo Alberto, revised 2012.
  4. Witada Anukoonwattaka, 2011. "Driving forces of Asian international production networks: A brief history and theoretical perspectives," STUDIES IN TRADE AND INVESTMENT, in: India: A New Player in Asian Production Networks?, Studies in Trade and Investment 75, chapter 1, pages 7-22 United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
  5. T.Huw Edwards, 2009. "Globalisation as a ‘good times’ phenomenon: a search-based explanation," Discussion Paper Series 2009_07, Department of Economics, Loughborough University, revised Jun 2009.
  6. Devereux, Michael B., 1999. "Growth and the dynamics of trade liberalization," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 23(5-6), pages 773-795, April.
  7. David Hummels & Jun Ishii & Kei-Mu Yi, 1999. "The nature and growth of vertical specialization in world trade," Staff Reports 72, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  8. Ward, William A. & Bhattarai, Madhusudan & Huang, Pei, 1999. "The New Economics Of Distance: Long-Term Trends In Indexes Of Spatial Friction," Working Papers 18808, Clemson University, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics.
  9. Ventura Dias, Vivianne & Durán Lima, José Elías, 2001. "Production sharing in Latin American trade: a research note," MPRA Paper 4527, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Feeney, JoAnne, 1999. "International risk sharing, learning by doing, and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 297-318, April.

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