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The high road and the low road to international competitiveness: Extending the neo-Schumpeterian trade model beyond technology

Listed author(s):
  • William Milberg
  • Ellen Houston
Registered author(s):

    Extending the neo-Schumpeterian trade model, we estimate a 'social-gap' model for a group of 17 OECD countries over the period 1975-1995. We find that government spending on social protection, employment protection regulations, union density, strike activity, and income security in the labor market (all measured in 'gap' form) are statistically significantly related to changes in international competitiveness. Specifically, we find some support for a Calmfors-Driffil, nonlinear, relation between cooperative labor relations and social spending patterns on the one hand, and international trade (and inward foreign investment) competitiveness on the other, implying that countries with relatively stronger institutional arrangements have better international economic performance than countries in the middle of the scale of conflict and cooperation. Our results indicate that models focusing solely on innovative effort are misspecified, and may suffer from an omitted variable bias caused by the absence of consideration of other institutional factors influencing international trade and investment.

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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal International Review of Applied Economics.

    Volume (Year): 19 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 137-162

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:irapec:v:19:y:2005:i:2:p:137-162
    DOI: 10.1080/02692170500031646
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