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The rise of vertical specialization trade

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  • Bridgman, Benjamin

Abstract

Manufacturing and vertical specialization (VS) trade, trade in goods that incorporate imported inputs, have grown rapidly since the 1960s. I argue that declining trade costs are an important explanation for these facts. I present a three stage vertical specialization trade model, with raw materials, manufactured parts and final goods sectors. In the simulated model, falling trade costs explain much of the observed growth in overall and VS trade. Manufacturing trade grows twice as fast as overall trade. Raw materials trade was more important in the 1960s when trade costs were high, since their production is more strongly linked to endowments than manufacturing. Therefore, materials will be traded even when trade costs are high. Trade costs have fallen more for manufactured goods over the last 40years, leading to a rapid expansion of manufactured parts trade relative to materials.

Suggested Citation

  • Bridgman, Benjamin, 2012. "The rise of vertical specialization trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 133-140.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:86:y:2012:i:1:p:133-140 DOI: 10.1016/j.jinteco.2011.08.016
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    1. Pritish K. Sahu, 2016. "Malaysia’s Domestic Value Added Export: The Role of Governance and Strategic Policy Reforms," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 6(4), pages 1578-1584.
    2. Richard Frensch & Jan Hanousek & Evžen Kocenda, 2012. "Incomplete specialization and offshoring across Europe," FIW Working Paper series 091, FIW.
    3. Benjamin Bridgman, 2013. "International Supply Chains And The Volatility Of Trade," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(4), pages 2110-2124, October.
    4. Gong, Liutang & Wang, Chan & Zou, Heng-fu, 2016. "Optimal monetary policy with international trade in intermediate inputs," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 140-165.
    5. Dalton, John, 2013. "A Theory of Just-in-Time and the Growth in Manufacturing Trade," MPRA Paper 48223, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Zymek, Robert, 2015. "Factor proportions and the growth of world trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 42-53.
    7. Chan Wang & Heng-fu Zou, 2015. "Optimal Monetary Policy Under a Global Dollar Standard: The Effect of Vertical Trade and Production," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 121-137, February.
    8. Janet Ceglowski, 2014. "Has Trade Become More Responsive to Income? Assessing the Evidence for US Imports," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 225-241, April.
    9. Das, Gouranga, 2012. "Fragmentation in Production, Vertical Integration and Wage Inequality: A Theoretical Note," MPRA Paper 47455, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Robert C. Johnson & Guillermo Noguera, 2012. "Fragmentation and Trade in Value Added over Four Decades," NBER Working Papers 18186, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Liutang Gong & Chan Wang & Heng-fu Zou, 2017. "Optimal Exchange-Rate Policy in a Model of Local-Currency Pricing with Vertical Production and Trade," Open Economies Review, Springer, pages 125-147.
    12. Chan Wang & Heng-fu Zou, 2013. "Optimal monetary policy in open economies: the role of reference currency in vertical production and trade," CEMA Working Papers 586, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Trade costs; Vertical specialization; Manufacturing trade;

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade

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