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Sources of Comparative Advantages in Brazil


  • Beatriz Muriel
  • Cristina Terra


Based on the Heckscher-Ohlin-Vanek model, the authors investigate relative factor abundance in Brazil, as revealed by its international trade. They study two different time periods: one characterized by high trade barriers (1980-85) and the trade liberalization period (1990-95). Two alternative methodologies are used: the estimation of factor intensity regressions on net exports and the direct computation of factor content in net exports. In the factor intensity regression, the authors incorporate technological changes that might have occurred over time, and these turn out to be significant. Both methods yield the same results: the Brazilian international trade reveals relative abundance in capital, land, and unskilled labor, and scarcity in skilled labor, with qualitatively equivalent results for the two time periods studied. Copyright © 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Beatriz Muriel & Cristina Terra, 2009. "Sources of Comparative Advantages in Brazil," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(1), pages 15-27, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:rdevec:v:13:y:2009:i:1:p:15-27

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gonzaga, Gustavo & Menezes Filho, Naercio & Terra, Cristina, 2006. "Trade liberalization and the evolution of skill earnings differentials in Brazil," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 345-367, March.
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    5. Leamer, Edward E & Bowen, Harry P, 1981. "Cross-Section Tests of the Heckscher-Ohlin Theorem: Comment [Factor Abundance and Comparative Advantage]," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 1040-1043, December.
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    7. Ronald W. Jones, 1965. "The Structure of Simple General Equilibrium Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73, pages 557-557.
    8. Harry P. Bowen & Leo Sveikauskas, 1992. "Judging Factor Abundance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 599-620.
    9. Ramazani, Reza M & Maskus, Keith E, 1993. "A Test of the Factor Endowments Model of Trade in a Rapidly Industrializing Country: The Case of Korea," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(3), pages 568-572, August.
    10. Baldwin, Robert E, 1971. "Determinants of the Commodity Structure of U.S. Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 126-146, March.
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    12. James A. Kahn & Jong-Soo Lim, 1998. "Skilled Labor-Augmenting Technical Progress in U. S. Manufacturing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1281-1308.
    13. Trefler, Daniel, 1993. "International Factor Price Differences: Leontief Was Right!," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 961-987, December.
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    15. Edward E. Leamer, 1996. "In Search of Stolper-Samuelson Effects on U.S. Wages," NBER Working Papers 5427, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Gustavo Gonzaga & Naércio Menezes Filho & Cristina Terra, 2002. "Trade liberalization and evolution of skill earnings differentials in Brazil," Textos para discussão 463, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
    17. Aw, Bee-Yan, 1983. "The interpretation of cross-section regression tests of the heckscher-ohlin theorem with many goods and factors," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1-2), pages 163-167, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fally, Thibault & Paillacar, Rodrigo & Terra, Cristina, 2010. "Economic geography and wages in Brazil: Evidence from micro-data," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 155-168, January.
    2. Laura Hering & Rodrigo Paillacar, 2016. "Does Access to Foreign Markets Shape Internal Migration? Evidence from Brazil," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 30(1), pages 78-103.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade


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