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Skills and Changing Comparative Advantage

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  • Edward N. Wolff

    (New York University and the National Bureau of Economic Research)

Abstract

Using U.S. input-output data for the period 1947-1996 and Dictionary of Occupational Titles skill scores, I find that U.S. exports have a high content in cognitive and interactive skills relative to imports, and a low content in motor skills. Moreover, the skill gap between exports and imports has widened over time. Imports are more capital- and equipment-intensive than exports, but the difference has fallen over time. By 1987 exports were more computer-intensive than imports. In contrast, though exports were more R&D-intensive than imports in 1958, they were slightly lower in 1996. Labor productivity also rose faster in export than in import industries, and the unit labor cost of exports declined relative to imports. © 2003 President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward N. Wolff, 2003. "Skills and Changing Comparative Advantage," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(1), pages 77-93, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:85:y:2003:i:1:p:77-93
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Marigee P. Bacolod & Bernardo S. Blum, 2010. "Two Sides of the Same Coin: U.S. "Residual" Inequality and the Gender Gap," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(1).
    2. Moritz Ritter, 2014. "Offshoring and occupational specificity of human capital," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 17(4), pages 780-798, October.
    3. Eiichi Tomiura & Ryuhei Wakasugi & Lianming Zhu, 2014. "Task Content of Trade: A Disaggregated Measurement of Japanese Changes," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 65(2), pages 238-251, June.
    4. Cai, Jie & Stoyanov, Andrey, 2016. "Population aging and comparative advantage," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 1-21.
    5. Capatina, Elena, 2014. "Skills and the evolution of wage inequality," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 41-57.
    6. Gu, Ke & Stoyanov, Andrey, 2018. "Skills, Population Aging, and the Pattern of Trade," MPRA Paper 84349, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Kiyota, Kozo, 2013. "Skills and changing comparative advantage: The case of Japan," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 33-40.
    8. Vandenberg, Paul, 2017. "Can Trade Help Achieve the Employment Targets of the Sustainable Development Goals?," ADBI Working Papers 650, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    9. Mahagaonkar, Prashanth & Schweickert, Rainer & Chavali, Aditya S., 2009. "Sectoral R&D intensity and exchange rate volatility: a panel study for OECD countries," Kiel Working Papers 1531, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    10. Michael Peneder, 2007. "A sectoral taxonomy of educational intensity," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 189-212, July.
    11. Bacolod, Marigee & Blum, Bernardo S. & Strange, William C., 2009. "Skills in the city," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 136-153, March.

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