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Development-Related Biases in Factor Productivities and the HOV Model of Trade

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  • Keith E. Maskus
  • Shuichiro Nishioka

Abstract

Past empirical failures of the basic Heckscher-Ohlin-Vanek (HOV) model related to the inability of data to meet its restrictive assumptions, particularly identical international technologies and factor price equalization. Trefler (1993) tried to resuscitate HOV by introducing a simple Hicks-neutral (HN) factor-productivity adjustment, an approach that was heavily criticized. In this paper, we re-examine the productivity question by estimating factor-specific productivities from the individual technology data of multiple countries. Using a dataset of 29 countries, both developed and developing, we find evidence of factor-augmenting technological differences. In particular, the factor-productivity adjustment works well for developed members of the OECD. Further, we find that the ratios of factor productivities are strongly correlated with corresponding factor endowments. This systematic bias implies that the ability of HOV to explain North-South factor trade depends both on relative factor abundance and factor-augmenting productivity gaps.

Suggested Citation

  • Keith E. Maskus & Shuichiro Nishioka, 2008. "Development-Related Biases in Factor Productivities and the HOV Model of Trade," CESifo Working Paper Series 2253, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2253
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hakura, Dalia S., 2001. "Why does HOV fail?: The role of technological differences within the EC," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 361-382, August.
    2. Keith E. Maskus & Shuichiro Nishioka, 2009. "Development-related biases in factor productivities and the HOV model of trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(2), pages 519-553, May.
    3. Per Krusell & Lee E. Ohanian & JosÈ-Victor RÌos-Rull & Giovanni L. Violante, 2000. "Capital-Skill Complementarity and Inequality: A Macroeconomic Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1029-1054, September.
    4. Davis, Donald R. & David E. Weinstein & Scott C. Bradford & Kazushige Shimpo, 1997. "Using International and Japanese Regional Data to Determine When the Factor Abundance Theory of Trade Works," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 421-446, June.
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    6. Debaere, Peter & Demiroglu, Ufuk, 2003. "On the similarity of country endowments," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 101-136, January.
    7. Rudiger Dornbusch & Stanley Fischer & Paul A. Samuelson, 1980. "Heckscher-Ohlin Trade Theory with a Continuum of Goods," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 95(2), pages 203-224.
    8. Bowen, Harry P & Leamer, Edward E & Sveikauskas, Leo, 1987. "Multicountry, Multifactor Tests of the Factor Abundance Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 791-809, December.
    9. Gordon H. Hanson & Robert C. Feenstra, 2000. "Aggregation Bias in the Factor Content of Trade: Evidence from U.S. Manufacturing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 155-160, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Robert Stehrer, 2014. "Does the Home Bias Explain Missing Trade in Factors?," wiiw Working Papers 110, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    2. Chen, Maggie Xiaoyang & Joshi, Sumit, 2010. "Third-country effects on the formation of free trade agreements," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 238-248, November.
    3. Chor, Davin, 2010. "Unpacking sources of comparative advantage: A quantitative approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 152-167, November.
    4. Hausmann, Ricardo & Hidalgo, Cesar A. & Stock, Daniel P. & Yildirim, Muhammed A., 2014. "Implied Comparative Advantage," Working Paper Series rwp14-003, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    5. Marshall, Kathryn G., 2012. "International productivity and factor price comparisons," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 386-390.
    6. Puzzello, Laura, 2012. "A proportionality assumption and measurement biases in the factor content of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 105-111.
    7. Fisher, Eric O'N., 2011. "Heckscher-Ohlin theory when countries have different technologies," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 202-210, April.
    8. James Cassing & Shuichiro Nishioka, 2009. "Nonhomothetic Tastes and Missing Trade of Factor Services," Working Papers 09-03, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
    9. Shuichiro Nishioka, 2009. "Reconsidering the Role of Capital Accumulation for International Specialization across Industries," Working Papers 09-13, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
    10. Trefler, Daniel & Zhu, Susan Chun, 2010. "The structure of factor content predictions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 195-207, November.
    11. Douglas, Stratford & Nishioka, Shuichiro, 2012. "International differences in emissions intensity and emissions content of global trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 415-427.
    12. Fadinger, Harald, 2011. "Productivity differences in an interdependent world," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 221-232, July.
    13. Eric O'N. Fisher & John Gilbert & Kathryn G. Marshall & Reza Oladi, 2015. "A New Measure of Economic Distance," CESifo Working Paper Series 5362, CESifo Group Munich.
    14. Davide Gandolfi & Timothy Halliday & Raymond Robertson, 2017. "Trade, FDI, migration, and the place premium: Mexico and the United States," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 153(1), pages 1-37, February.
    15. Andrés Artal-Tur & Carlos Llano-Verduras & Francisco Requena-Silvente, 2010. "Factor productivity differences and missing trade problems in a regional HOV model," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 89(4), pages 759-776, November.
    16. Keith E. Maskus & Shuichiro Nishioka, 2009. "Development-related biases in factor productivities and the HOV model of trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(2), pages 519-553, May.
    17. Kris James Mitchener & Se Yan, 2010. "Globalization, Trade & Wages: What Does History tell us about China?," NBER Working Papers 15679, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Artal-Tur, Andrés & Castillo-Giménez, Juana & Llano-Verduras, Carlos & Requena-Silvente, Francisco, 2011. "The factor content of regional bilateral trade: The role of technology and demand," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 157-172, April.
    19. Nishioka, Shuichiro, 2013. "R&D, trade in intermediate inputs, and the comparative advantage of advanced countries," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 96-110.
    20. Nishioka, Shuichiro, 2012. "International differences in production techniques: Implications for the factor content of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 98-104.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Heckscher-Ohlin-Vanek; factor trade; productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade

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