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Institutions and International Trade: A Reconsideration of Comparative Advantage

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  • Marianna Belloc

Abstract

Persistent inconsistency between predictions of standard theoretical models and empirical evidence of international trade dynamics suggests that the traditional understanding of the determinants of actual international trade patterns is incomplete. What is missing? A recent literature suggests paying more attention to the role of the domestic institutional environment. The level and nature of development of the relevant institutions may be shown to affect competitiveness, by altering both production and transaction costs. In the extreme case, alternative institutional architectures that emerge in different countries may be interpreted as the cause of relative advantage/disadvantage even if technological levels, factor endowments and tastes are identical everywhere. Although in standard international trade models institutions remain implicit, it is hard to explain trade patterns and international competitiveness without taking institutions explicitly into consideration. By reviewing and reorganizing the most interesting contributions on this issue, this survey discusses how institutional diversity affects comparative advantage and international trade dynamics. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 2006.

Suggested Citation

  • Marianna Belloc, 2006. "Institutions and International Trade: A Reconsideration of Comparative Advantage," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(1), pages 3-26, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jecsur:v:20:y:2006:i:1:p:3-26
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bengt Söderlund & Patrik Tingvall, 2014. "Dynamic effects of institutions on firm-level exports," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 150(2), pages 277-308, May.
    2. Heyman Fredrik & Tingvall Patrik Gustavsson, 2015. "The Dynamics of Offshoring and Institutions," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 15(4), pages 1975-2016, October.
    3. Buchen, Clemens, 2010. "Emerging economic systems in Central and Eastern Europe – a qualitative and quantitative assessment," EconStor Theses, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, number 37141.
    4. Marianna Belloc, 2009. "International Specialization and Labor Unions: Evidence from OECD Countries," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(1), pages 34-50, February.
    5. Belloc Marianna, 2009. "Cross-Cultural Trade and Institutional Stability," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-25, October.
    6. Muhammad, Andrew & D’Souza, Anna & Amponsah, William, 2013. "Violence, Instability, and Trade: Evidence from Kenya’s Cut Flower Sector," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 20-31.
    7. Marianna Belloc & Samuel Bowles, 2009. "International Trade, Factor Mobility and the Persistence of Cultural-Institutional Diversity," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2009-08, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
    8. Alessandro Bramucci & Antonello Zanfei, 2015. "The governance of offshoring and its effects at home. The role of codetermination in the international organization of German firms," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 42(2), pages 217-244, June.
    9. repec:spr:eurasi:v:7:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s40821-016-0069-x is not listed on IDEAS
    10. D'Souza, Anna, 2012. "The OECD Anti-Bribery Convention: Changing the currents of trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 73-87.
    11. Kuncic, Aljaz, 2012. "Institutional determinants of bilateral trade: Taking another look," Kiel Advanced Studies Working Papers 462, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    12. Tingvall, Patrik, 2011. "Dynamic Effects of Corruption on Offshoring," Ratio Working Papers 182, The Ratio Institute.
    13. Iwanow, Tomasz & Kirkpatrick, Colin, 2009. "Trade Facilitation and Manufactured Exports: Is Africa Different?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 1039-1050, June.

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