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Relationship-specificity, incomplete contracts, and the pattern of trade: A comment on the role of natural resources

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  • Bajo-Buenestado, Raúl

Abstract

In his seminal paper, Nunn (2007) finds that countries with good contract enforcement have a comparative advantage and, therefore, specialize in exporting goods for which relationship-specific investments are most important. We argue that this result cannot be extrapolated to all industries: there is substantial heterogeneity regarding the effect of contract enforcement on exports. In particular, we empirically demonstrate that there is a disconnection between judicial quality and exporting in relationship-specific natural resource related industries. Due to the lack of input factor mobility, for such industries, the quality of contract enforcement cannot explain the pattern of trade, but rather other factors that are widely discussed in the literature. We discuss some relevant implications of this disconnection between judicial quality and relationship-specific industries in terms of the natural resource curse and the impact of natural resources trade on economic development.

Suggested Citation

  • Bajo-Buenestado, Raúl, 2018. "Relationship-specificity, incomplete contracts, and the pattern of trade: A comment on the role of natural resources," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 410-422.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:75:y:2018:i:c:p:410-422
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2018.08.032
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Natural resources; International trade; Contract enforcement; Resource curse; Replication study;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • K12 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Contract Law
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q00 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - General

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