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Revealed Comparative Advantage and the Alternatives as Measures of International Specialisation

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  • Keld Laursen

Abstract

The paper is an analysis of Balassa’s ‘revealed comparative advantage’ (RCA). The papers shows that when using the RCA, it should always be adjusted in such a way, so that it becomes symmetric. The conclusion is based on a theoretical discussion of the properties of the measure, but also on convincing empirical evidence, based on the Jarque-Bera test of normality of the error terms from regressions, using both the RCA and the ‘Revealed Symmetric Comparative Advantage’ (the RSCA). The RSCA is also compared to other measures of international trade specialisation. These measures included the Michaely index and the chi square measure. The conclusion emerging from the analysis is that the RSCA is - on balance - the best measure of comparative

Suggested Citation

  • Keld Laursen, 1998. "Revealed Comparative Advantage and the Alternatives as Measures of International Specialisation," DRUID Working Papers 98-30, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:aal:abbswp:98-30
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    File URL: http://www3.druid.dk/wp/19980030.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bent Dalum & Keld Laursen & Gert Villumsen, 1998. "Structural Change in OECD Export Specialisation Patterns: de-specialisation and 'stickiness'," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(3), pages 423-443.
    2. Thomas Vollrath, 1991. "A theoretical evaluation of alternative trade intensity measures of revealed comparative advantage," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 127(2), pages 265-280, June.
    3. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-959, December.
    4. Grupp, Hariolf, 1994. "The measurement of technical performance of innovations by technometrics and its impact on established technology indicators," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 175-193, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    revealed comparative advantage; international specialisation;

    JEL classification:

    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade

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