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How Reliable are Intra-Industry Trade Measures as Indicators of Adjustment Costs?

  • Jayant Menon

A number of recent papers have examined measures of intra-industry trade (IIT) and related indicators such as matched and unmatched changes in trade (MCIT and UCIT) as indicators of adjustment costs associated with trade expansion or contraction. We make three contributions to this literature. First, we clarify what is meant by adjustment costs in the context of these IIT-related measures. Second, we present new measures of MCIT and UCIT. Third, we compare our measures with existing measures using some simple numerical examples and data on Irish chemicals trade. We find that previous IIT-related measures tend to overestimate the extent of MCIT, and underestimate UCIT. We also find that the extent of the bias in these measures can be substantial. Thus, they are unreliable as indicators of adjustment costs. Our measures overcome these limitations.

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Paper provided by Victoria University, Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre in its series Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre Working Papers with number g-119.

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Date of creation: Mar 1996
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Handle: RePEc:cop:wpaper:g-119
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  1. Dixon, Peter B & Menon, Jayant, 1997. "Measures of Intra-industry Trade as Indicators of Factor Market Disruption," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 73(222), pages 233-37, September.
  2. Clive Hamilton & Paul Kniest, 1991. "Trade liberalisation, structural adjustment and intra-industry trade: A note," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 127(2), pages 356-367, June.
  3. Greenaway, David & Milner, Chris R, 1983. "On the Measurement of Intra-Industry Trade," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(372), pages 900-908, December.
  4. Marius Brülhart, 1994. "Marginal intra-industry trade: Measurement and relevance for the pattern of industrial adjustment," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 130(3), pages 600-613, September.
  5. Jayant Menon & Peter B. Dixon,, . "Regional Trading Agreements and Intra-Industry Trade," Discussion Papers 95/14, University of Nottingham, CREDIT.
  6. Jayant Menon & Peter Dixon, 1996. "How important is intra-industry trade in trade growth?," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 161-175, April.
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