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Factor Endowments, Trade Direction, and Growth Performances of the Americas and East Asia in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries


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  • Hongyi Harry Lai

    (University of California at Los Angeles)

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    Factor-endowment based trade with the leading economy helps to explain the differing development performances of the Americas and East Asia in the past two centuries. Between 1830 and 1945, labor-abundant Britain, the most advanced country, traded heavily with land-abundant countries in the Americas, the U.S. in particular. The latter were able to grow faster than was most of East Asia. After WWII, however, with Britain’s decline and the rise of the land-abundant U.S., labor-abundant East Asia traded more heavily with the U.S. and thus engineered faster growth than did land-abundant Latin America. Factor-endowment based trade and economic ties with the secondary advanced economy (first the U.S. and then Japan) played important roles in the pre-WWII growth of Japan, Southeast Asia's growth in the 1970s and the 1980s, and its economic crisis in the mid-1990s.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Development and Comp Systems with number 9710004.

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    Length: 38 pages
    Date of creation: 22 Oct 1997
    Date of revision: 17 Jun 1998
    Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpdc:9710004

    Note: A revised version; an old and longer version was posted in 10/97. Type of Document - MS Word 6.0 for Win95 or later version; prepared on IBM PC ; to print on HP ; pages: 38 ; figures: 8 tables.
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    Keywords: growth; development; trade; factor; endowments; resources; economic performances; developmental policies; world economy; Latin America; America; the United States; U.S.; East Asia; Southeast Asia; Britain; United Kingdom; U.K.; Japan; China; Malaysia;

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    1. Balassa, Bela, 1978. "Exports and economic growth : Further evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 181-189, June.
    2. Young, Alwyn, 1994. "Lessons from the East Asian NICS: A contrarian view," European Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 964-973, April.
    3. Sachs, J-D & Warner, A-M, 1995. "Natural Resource Abundance and Economic Growth," Papers, Harvard - Institute for International Development 517a, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
    4. Cuddington, John T & Urzua, Carlos M, 1989. "Trends and Cycles in the Net Barter Terms of Trade: A New Approach," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(396), pages 426-42, June.
    5. Ito, Takatoshi & Krueger, Anne O. (ed.), 1995. "Growth Theories in Light of the East Asian Experience," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226386706, 01-2013.
    6. Dollar, David, 1992. "Outward-Oriented Developing Economies Really Do Grow More Rapidly: Evidence from 95 LDCs, 1976-1985," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(3), pages 523-44, April.
    7. Bowen, Harry P & Leamer, Edward E & Sveikauskas, Leo, 1987. "Multicountry, Multifactor Tests of the Factor Abundance Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 791-809, December.
    8. Oshima, Harry T, 1988. "Human Resources in East Asia's Secular Growth," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(3), pages S103-22, Supplemen.
    9. Leamer, Edward E, 1980. "The Leontief Paradox, Reconsidered," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(3), pages 495-503, June.
    10. Lee, Chung H & Naya, Seiji, 1988. "Trade in East Asian Development with Comparative Reference to Southeast Asian Experiences," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(3), pages S123-52, Supplemen.
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