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Comparative Advantage, Exchange Rates, and Sectoral Trade Balances of Major Industrial Countries

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  • Stephen S. Golub

    (International Monetary Fund)

Abstract

This paper uses a Ricardian framework to clarify the role of microeconomic and macroeconomic factors governing the time-series and cross-sectional behavior of sectoral trade balances. Unit labor costs and trade balances are calculated for several sectors for the seven major industrial countries. The time-series and cross-sectional variation in sectoral unit labor costs is decomposed into relative productivity, wage differentials, and exchange rate variations. The main findings are that changes over time in sectoral trade balances, especially for the United States and Japan, are quite well explained by the evolution of unit labor cost, suggesting that trade patterns conform to comparative advantage. The cross-sectional results are, however, less conclusive.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen S. Golub, 1994. "Comparative Advantage, Exchange Rates, and Sectoral Trade Balances of Major Industrial Countries," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 41(2), pages 286-313, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:imfstp:v:41:y:1994:i:2:p:286-313
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ahmet Faruk Aysan & Yavuz Selim Hacihasanoglu, 2007. "Investigation on the Determinants of Turkish Export-Boom in 2000s," Working Papers 2007/19, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.
    2. Edwards, Lawrence & Golub, Stephen S., 2004. "South Africa's International Cost Competitiveness and Exports in Manufacturing," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1323-1339, August.
    3. Stephen S. Golub & Janet Ceglowski, 2002. "South African Real Exchange Rates And Manufacturing Competitiveness," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 70(6), pages 1047-1075, September.
    4. Özler, Sule & Taymaz, Erol & YIlmaz, Kamil, 2009. "History Matters for the Export Decision: Plant-Level Evidence from Turkish Manufacturing Industry," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 479-488, February.
    5. Carlin, Wendy & Glyn, Andrew & Van Reenen, John, 2001. "Export Market Performance of OECD Countries: An Empirical Examination of the Role of Cost Competitiveness," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(468), pages 128-162, January.
    6. Lawrence Edwards & Volker Schoer, 2002. "Measures Of Competitiveness: A Dynamic Approach To South Africa'S Trade Performance In The 1990s," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 70(6), pages 1008-1046, September.
    7. Brigitte Granville & Dominik Nagly, 2015. "Conflicting Incentives for Public Support for EMU," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 83, pages 142-157, December.
    8. Brigitte Granville & Dominik Nagly, 2014. "Conflicting incentives for the public to support the EMU," Working Papers 50, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements

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