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On the Dynamics of the Hecksher-Ohlin Theory

  • Lorenzo Caliendo

    (Yale School of Management)

Over the last decades, large labor intensive countries, like China, have played a growing role in world trade. Using the factor proportions theory, this paper investigates the dynamic effects of economic growth consequent to international trade between countries with different factor proportions. I present a complete characterization of the equilibrium dynamics with initial factor endowments outside the cone of diversification where factor prices are not equalized and either one or both of the countries specialize. I Â…find that while a small country can grow without the retarding force of a terms-of-trade deterioration, a large, capital-intensive country can experience terms-of-trade deteriorations, as a consequence of trading with a large, labor-intensive partner. These terms-of-trade effects have consequences over growth and the pattern of specialization in production. For instance, the capital stock of the poor country can overshoot its long-run steady state. However, at the steady state, the labor intensive country will always remain poorer compared to the capital intensive country. The model can also help to explain why countries experience non-monotonic changes in their pattern of specialization as they grow, why countries do not converge to the same steady state level of income, and why non-factor price equalizations might be the most likely outcome after all.

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File URL: http://econresearch.uchicago.edu/sites/econresearch.uchicago.edu/files/MFI-2010-011.pdf
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Paper provided by Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2010-011.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:bfi:wpaper:2010-011
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  1. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Reversal Of Fortune: Geography And Institutions In The Making Of The Modern World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294, November.
  2. Gaitan, Beatriz & Roe, Terry L., 2007. "Path Interdependence Among Early and Late Bloomers in a Dynamic Heckscher-Ohlin Model," Bulletins 7183, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  3. Benhabib, Jess & Nishimura, Kazuo, 1983. "Competitive Equilibrium Cycles," Working Papers 83-30, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
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  8. Richard Baldwin, 1989. "Measureable Dynamic Gains from Trade," NBER Working Papers 3147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Claustre Bajona & Timothy J. Kehoe, 2006. "Demographics in Dynamic Heckscher-Ohlin Models: Overlapping Generations Versus Infinitely Lived Consumers," NBER Working Papers 12566, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Stokey, Nancy L, 1996. " Free Trade, Factor Returns, and Factor Accumulation," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(4), pages 421-47, December.
  11. Acemoglu, Daron & Ventura, Jaume, 2001. "The World Income Distribution," CEPR Discussion Papers 2973, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Debaere, Peter & Demiroglu, Ufuk, 2003. "On the similarity of country endowments," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 101-136, January.
  13. Choi, E. Kwan & Harrigan, James, 2003. "Handbook of International Trade," Staff General Research Papers 11375, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  14. Marianne Baxter, 1991. "Fiscal policy, specialization, and trade in the two-sector model: the return of Ricardo?," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 56, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  15. Zhiqi Chen, 1992. "Long-Run Equilibria in a Dynamic Heckscher-Ohlin Model," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 25(4), pages 923-43, November.
  16. Mountford, Andrew, 1998. "Trade, convergence and overtaking," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 167-182, October.
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