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Heckscher-Ohlin Specialization and the Marginal Product of Capital, 1976-2000

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  • Catia Batista
  • Jacques Potin

Abstract

This paper estimates the Heckscher-Ohlin (HO) model of international specialization with a panel of 44 developing and developed countries between 1976 and 2000. As Schott (2003), our empirical model includes multiple cones and recasts industry-level data in theoretically appropriate HO aggregates, i.e. sets of goods with similar factor intensities. The time dimension enables us to obtain better estimates of international total factor productivity differences and of the development path of each country. We correct for international differences in factor qualities and prices. For capital, we use the results of Eaton-Kortum (2001) who find a higher cost of capital in poor countries. Consistent with neoclassical theory, the estimated values for the marginal product of capital are on average higher in poorer countries. Nevertheless, once we adjust for the fact that capital is more expensive in these countries, we find that the financial rate of return of capital investment is rather similar in rich and poor countries, thereby explaining the Lucas (1990) paradox.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 357.

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Date of creation: 01 Sep 2007
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:357

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Keywords: Economic Growth and International Trade; Heckscher-Ohlin; Multiple Cones; Marginal Product of Capital; Specialization;

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  1. Peter K. Schott, 2004. "Across-product Versus Within-product Specialization in International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 646-677, May.
  2. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2007. "Relative Prices and Relative Prosperity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 562-585, June.
  3. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2001. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 541-63, July.
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  11. James Harrigan, 1996. "Technology, factor supplies, and international specialization: estimating the neoclassical model," Staff Reports 15, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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  13. Bernstein, Jeffrey R. & Weinstein, David E., 2002. "Do endowments predict the location of production?: Evidence from national and international data," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 55-76, January.
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  19. Peter K. Schott, 2003. "One Size Fits All? Heckscher-Ohlin Specialization in Global Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 686-708, June.
  20. Peter Debaere & Ufuk Demiroglu, 2006. "Factor Accumulation without Diminishing Returns: the Case of East Asia," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 16-29, 02.
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  23. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Why Doesn't Capital Flow from Rich to Poor Countries?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 92-96, May.
  24. Caselli, Francesco, 2005. "Accounting for Cross-Country Income Differences," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 9, pages 679-741 Elsevier.
  25. Debaere, Peter & Demiroglu, Ufuk, 2003. "On the similarity of country endowments," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 101-136, January.
  26. Chang-Tai Hsieh, 1999. "Productivity Growth and Factor Prices in East Asia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 133-138, May.
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