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Heckscher-Ohlin Theory and Individual Attitudes Towards Globalization

  • O'Rourke, Kevin Hjortshøj

The aim of the Paper is to see whether individuals’ attitudes towards globalization are consistent with the predictions of Heckscher-Ohlin theory. The theory predicts that the impact of being skilled or unskilled on attitudes towards trade and immigration should depend on a country’s skill endowments, with the skilled being less anti-trade and anti-immigration in more skill-abundant countries (here taken to be richer countries) than in more unskilled-labour-abundant countries (here taken to be poorer countries). These predictions are confirmed, using survey data for 24 countries. The high-skilled are pro-globalization in rich countries; while in some of the very poorest countries in the sample being high-skilled has a negative (if statistically insignificant) impact on pro-globalization sentiment. More generally, an interaction term between skills and GDP per capita has a negative impact in regressions, explaining anti-globalization sentiment. Furthermore, individuals view protectionism and anti-immigrant policies as complements rather than as substitutes, as they would do in a simple Heckscher-Ohlin world.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4018.

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Date of creation: Aug 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4018
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  1. Harry P. Bowen & Edward E. Leamer & Leo Sveikauskas, 1986. "Multicountry, Multifactor Tests of the Factor Abundance Theory," NBER Working Papers 1918, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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