IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/inecon/v82y2010i2p152-167.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Unpacking sources of comparative advantage: A quantitative approach

Author

Listed:
  • Chor, Davin

Abstract

This paper develops an approach for quantifying the importance of different sources of comparative advantage, by extending the Eaton and Kortum (2002) model to predict industry trade flows. In this framework, comparative advantage is determined by the interaction of country and industry characteristics, with countries specializing in industries whose production needs they can best meet with their factor endowments and institutional strengths. I estimate the model parameters using: (i) OLS; and (ii) a simulated method of moments procedure that accounts for the prevalence of zeros in the bilateral trade data. I apply the model to explore various quantitative questions, such as how much distance, Ricardian productivity, factor endowments, and institutions each matter for country welfare in the global trade equilibrium.

Suggested Citation

  • Chor, Davin, 2010. "Unpacking sources of comparative advantage: A quantitative approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 152-167, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:82:y:2010:i:2:p:152-167
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022-1996(10)00066-8
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Keith E. Maskus & Shuichiro Nishioka, 2009. "Development‐related biases in factor productivities and the HOV model of trade," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 42(2), pages 519-553, May.
    2. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2003. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1268-1290, September.
    3. Kalina Manova, 2013. "Credit Constraints, Heterogeneous Firms, and International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(2), pages 711-744.
    4. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
    5. Costinot, Arnaud & Komunjer, Ivana, 2006. "What Goods Do Countries Trade? New Ricardian Predictions," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt86n316hw, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
    6. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-1054, July.
    7. Andrei A. Levchenko, 2007. "Institutional Quality and International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 791-819.
    8. Costinot, Arnaud, 2009. "On the origins of comparative advantage," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 255-264, April.
    9. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(3), pages 691-751, September.
    10. Nathan Nunn, 2007. "Relationship-Specificity, Incomplete Contracts, and the Pattern of Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 569-600.
    11. Huiwen Lai & Susan Chun Zhu, 2004. "The determinants of bilateral trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 37(2), pages 459-483, May.
    12. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2011. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence From French Firms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(5), pages 1453-1498, September.
    13. Alejandro Cuñat & Marc J. Melitz, 2012. "Volatility, Labor Market Flexibility, And The Pattern Of Comparative Advantage," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 225-254, April.
    14. Thorsten Beck, 2003. "Financial Dependence and International Trade," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(2), pages 296-316, May.
    15. Robert C. Feenstra & Robert E. Lipsey & Haiyan Deng & Alyson C. Ma & Hengyong Mo, 2005. "World Trade Flows: 1962-2000," NBER Working Papers 11040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Kiminori Matsuyama, 2005. "Credit Market Imperfections and Patterns of International Trade and Capital Flows," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 714-723, 04/05.
    17. Andrew K. Rose, 2004. "Do We Really Know That the WTO Increases Trade?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 98-114, March.
    18. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
    19. Juan C. Botero & Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "The Regulation of Labor," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1339-1382.
    20. Eaton Jonathan & Tamura Akiko, 1994. "Bilateralism and Regionalism in Japanese and U.S. Trade and Direct Foreign Investment Patterns," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 478-510, December.
    21. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 2001. "An Account of Global Factor Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1423-1453, December.
    22. Kletzer, Kenneth & Bardhan, Pranab, 1987. "Credit markets and patterns of international trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1-2), pages 57-70, October.
    23. Harrigan, James, 1997. "Technology, Factor Supplies, and International Specialization: Estimating the Neoclassical Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 475-494, September.
    24. Dornbusch, Rudiger & Fischer, Stanley & Samuelson, Paul A, 1977. "Comparative Advantage, Trade, and Payments in a Ricardian Model with a Continuum of Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 823-839, December.
    25. James E. Anderson & Douglas Marcouiller, 2002. "Insecurity And The Pattern Of Trade: An Empirical Investigation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 342-352, May.
    26. Golub, Stephen S & Hsieh, Chang-Tai, 2000. "Classical Ricardian Theory of Comparative Advantage Revisited," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(2), pages 221-234, May.
    27. José Wynne, 2005. "Wealth as a Determinant of Comparative Advantage," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 226-254, March.
    28. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1998. "Financial Dependence and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 559-586, June.
    29. J. M. C. Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2006. "The Log of Gravity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 641-658, November.
    30. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 441-487.
    31. Deardorff, Alan V., 1984. "Testing trade theories and predicting trade flows," Handbook of International Economics, in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 467-517, Elsevier.
    32. Shikher, Serge, 2011. "Capital, technology, and specialization in the neoclassical model," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 229-242, March.
    33. John Romalis, 2004. "Factor Proportions and the Structure of Commodity Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 67-97, March.
    34. Peter M. Morrow, 2008. "East is East and West is West: A Ricardian-Heckscher-Ohlin Model of Comparative Advantage," Working Papers 575, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
    35. 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.
    36. Daron Acemoglu & Pol Antràs & Elhanan Helpman, 2007. "Contracts and Technology Adoption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 916-943, June.
    37. Pakes, Ariel & Pollard, David, 1989. "Simulation and the Asymptotics of Optimization Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(5), pages 1027-1057, September.
    38. Jon Haveman & David Hummels, 2004. "Alternative hypotheses and the volume of trade: the gravity equation and the extent of specialization," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 37(1), pages 199-218, February.
    39. 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.
    40. Jon Haveman & David Hummels, 2004. "Alternative hypotheses and the volume of trade: the gravity equation and the extent of specialization," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 37(1), pages 199-218, February.
    41. Baldwin, Robert E, 1979. "Determinants of Trade and Foreign Investment: Further Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(1), pages 40-48, February.
    42. Svaleryd, Helena & Vlachos, Jonas, 2005. "Financial markets, the pattern of industrial specialization and comparative advantage: Evidence from OECD countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 113-144, January.
    43. Manova, Kalina, 2008. "Credit constraints, equity market liberalizations and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 33-47, September.
    44. Priya Ranjan & Jae Young Lee, 2007. "Contract Enforcement And International Trade," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(2), pages 191-218, July.
    45. Huiwen Lai & Daniel Trefler, 2002. "The Gains from Trade with Monopolistic Competition: Specification, Estimation, and Mis-Specification," NBER Working Papers 9169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    46. Debeare, Peter, 2003. "Relative Factor Abundance and Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(3), pages 589-610, June.
    47. Stephen S. Golub & Chang‐Tai Hsieh, 2000. "Classical Ricardian Theory of Comparative Advantage Revisited," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(2), pages 221-234, May.
    48. Beck, Thorsten, 2002. "Financial development and international trade: Is there a link?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 107-131, June.
    49. Trefler, Daniel, 1995. "The Case of the Missing Trade and Other Mysteries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1029-1046, December.
    50. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Technology, Geography, and Trade," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1741-1779, September.
    51. Daniel Berkowitz & Johannes Moenius & Katharina Pistor, 2006. "Trade, Law, and Product Complexity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 363-373, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Nunn, Nathan & Trefler, Daniel, 2014. "Domestic Institutions as a Source of Comparative Advantage," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 263-315, Elsevier.
    2. Ju, Jiandong & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2011. "When is quality of financial system a source of comparative advantage?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 178-187, July.
    3. Harald Fadinger & Pablo Fleiss, 2011. "Trade and Sectoral Productivity," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(555), pages 958-989, September.
    4. Ferguson, Shon & Formai, Sara, 2013. "Institution-driven comparative advantage and organizational choice," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 193-200.
    5. Ma, Yue & Qu, Baozhi & Zhang, Yifan, 2010. "Judicial quality, contract intensity and trade: Firm-level evidence from developing and transition countries," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 146-159, June.
    6. Cai, Jie & Stoyanov, Andrey, 2016. "Population aging and comparative advantage," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 1-21.
    7. Tang, Heiwai, 2012. "Labor market institutions, firm-specific skills, and trade patterns," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 337-351.
    8. Alejandro Cuñat & Marc J. Melitz, 2012. "Volatility, Labor Market Flexibility, And The Pattern Of Comparative Advantage," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 225-254, April.
    9. Costinot, Arnaud & Komunjer, Ivana, 2006. "What Good Do Countries Trade? New Ricardian Predictions," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt9t9818ng, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
    10. Jaimovich, Esteban, 2019. "Roadways, input sourcing, and patterns of specialization," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 120(C).
    11. Feifei Wu & Xinyu Yan, 2018. "Institutional Quality and Sustainable Development of Industries’ Exports: Evidence from China," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(11), pages 1-22, November.
    12. Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2014. "Gravity Equations: Workhorse,Toolkit, and Cookbook," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 131-195, Elsevier.
    13. Juan Carluccio & Thibault Fally, 2012. "Global Sourcing under Imperfect Capital Markets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(3), pages 740-763, August.
    14. Morrow, Peter M., 2010. "Ricardian-Heckscher-Ohlin comparative advantage: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 137-151, November.
    15. Nathan Nunn, 2007. "Relationship-Specificity, Incomplete Contracts, and the Pattern of Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 569-600.
    16. Kalina Manova, 2013. "Credit Constraints, Heterogeneous Firms, and International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(2), pages 711-744.
    17. Schmidt-Eisenlohr, Tim, 2013. "Towards a theory of trade finance," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 96-112.
    18. Peter H. Egger & Christian Keuschnigg, 2017. "Access to credit and comparative advantage," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 50(2), pages 481-505, May.
    19. Daniel Bernhofen, 2010. "The Empirics of General Equilibrium Tade Theory: What Have we Learned?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3242, CESifo.
    20. Kalina Manova & Zhiwei Zhang, 2008. "China's exporters and importers: firms, products, and trade partners," Working Paper Series 2008-28, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Comparative advantage Gravity Ricardian model Factor endowments Institutional determinants of trade Simulated method of moments;

    JEL classification:

    • C15 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Statistical Simulation Methods: General
    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F17 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Forecasting and Simulation

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:82:y:2010:i:2:p:152-167. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505552 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505552 .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.