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International Specialization and the Return to Capital, 1976-2000

Using panel data, we provide an integrated treatment of factor endowments, factor prices, and international specialization. In the various cross sections, we confirm the Heckscher-Ohlin prediction that, with sufficient differences in country endowments, there is no factor Price equalization and countries specialize in different subsets of goods. We also explain why, despite higher returns to capital, poor countries do not attract more capital from rich countries. Moreover, along their development path, countries experience the structural change predicted by theory. We find that these changes in specialization mainly occur within industries. Despite capital accumulation by most countries, we find no decrease in the return to capital at any given capital-labour ratio. This must have facilitated growth through capital accumulation

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Paper provided by ESSEC Research Center, ESSEC Business School in its series ESSEC Working Papers with number DR 08001.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ebg:essewp:dr-08001
Contact details of provider: Postal: ESSEC Research Center, BP 105, 95021 Cergy, France
Web page: http://www.essec.edu/
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  1. Dornbusch, Rudiger & Fischer, Stanley & Samuelson, Paul A, 1980. "Heckscher- Ohlin Trade Theory with a Continuum of Goods," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 203-24, September.
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  7. Fitzgerald, Doireann & Hallak, Juan Carlos, 2004. "Specialization, factor accumulation and development," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 277-302, December.
  8. Francesco Caselli & James Feyrer, 2006. "The Marginal Product of Capital," CEP Discussion Papers dp0735, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  9. Stephen Redding, 2002. "Specialization dynamics," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 210, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  10. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Trade in Capital Goods," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-109, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  11. Peter K. Schott, 2001. "One Size Fits All? Heckscher-Ohlin Specialization in Global Production," NBER Working Papers 8244, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Francesco Caselli, 2004. "Accounting for Cross-Country Income Differences," NBER Working Papers 10828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Andrew Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter Schott, 2003. "Survival of the best fit: exposure to low-wage countries and the (uneven) growth of US manufacturing plants," IFS Working Papers W03/12, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  14. Deardorff, Alan V., 1994. "The possibility of factor price equalization, revisited," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-2), pages 167-175, February.
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  16. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
  17. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Why Doesn't Capital Flow from Rich to Poor Countries?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 92-96, May.
  18. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 1998. "An Account of Global Factor Trade," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1849, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  19. Debaere, Peter & Demiroglu, Ufuk, 2003. "On the similarity of country endowments," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 101-136, January.
  20. Trefler, Daniel, 1995. "The Case of the Missing Trade and Other Mysteries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1029-46, December.
  21. Alejandro Cunat & Marco Maffezzoli, 2004. "Neoclassical Growth and Commodity Trade," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(3), pages 707-736, July.
  22. Trefler, Daniel & Zhu, Susan Chun, 2010. "The structure of factor content predictions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 195-207, November.
  23. Ulrich R. Kohli, 1978. "A Gross National Product Function and the Derived Demand for Imports and Supply of Exports," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 11(2), pages 167-82, May.
  24. Peter Debaere & Ufuk Demiroglu, 2006. "Factor Accumulation without Diminishing Returns: the Case of East Asia," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 16-29, 02.
  25. Peter K. Schott, 2004. "Across-product Versus Within-product Specialization in International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 646-677, May.
  26. Ventura, Jaume, 1997. "Growth and Interdependence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 57-84, February.
  27. Alan V. Deardorff, 1974. "A Geometry of Growth and Trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 7(2), pages 295-306, May.
  28. Leamer, Edward E, 1987. "Paths of Development in the Three-Factor, n-Good General Equilibrium Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(5), pages 961-99, October.
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