The Evolution of Comparative Advantage: Measurement and Welfare Implications
AbstractUsing an industry-level dataset of production and trade spanning 75 countries and 5 decades, and a fully speciÞed multi-sector Ricardian model, we estimate productivities at sector level and examine how they evolve over time in both developed and developing countries. We find that in both country groups, comparative advantage has become weaker: productivity grew systematically faster in sectors that were initially at the greater comparative disadvantage. The global welfare implications of this phenomenon are significant. Relative to the counterfactual scenario in which an individual countryÕs comparative advantage remained the same as in the 1960s, and technology in all sectors grew at the same country-specific average rate, welfare today is 1.9% lower at the median. The welfare impact varies greatly across countries, ranging from -0.5% to 6% among OECD countries, and from -9% to 27% among non-OECD countries. Remarkably, for the OECD countries, nearly all of the welfare impact is driven by changes in technology in OECD countries, and for the non-OECD countries, nearly all of the welfare impact is driven by changes in technology in non-OECD countries.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan in its series Working Papers with number 610.
Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
evolution of comparative advantage; welfare; Ricardian models of trade;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
- F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-10-09 (All new papers)
- NEP-INT-2010-10-09 (International Trade)
- NEP-OPM-2010-10-09 (Open Economy Macroeconomics)
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.:
- Andrea Finicelli & Patrizio Pagano & Massimo Sbracia, 2009.
Temi di discussione (Economic working papers)
728, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
- Brezis, Elise S & Krugman, Paul R & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1993. "Leapfrogging in International Competition: A Theory of Cycles in National Technological Leadership," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1211-19, December.
- Lorenzo Caliendo & Fernando Parro, 2012. "Estimates of the Trade and Welfare Effects of NAFTA," NBER Working Papers 18508, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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