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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. 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.
  2. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter K. Schott, 2003. "Survival of the best fit: exposure to low-wage countries and the (uneven) growth of U.S. manufacturing plants," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20028, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Cuñat, Alejandro & Maffezzoli, Marco, 2002. "Neoclassical Growth and Commodity Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 3322, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Jeffrey Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Progress of Global Integration," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1733, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  5. 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.
  6. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2003. "Relative prices and relative prosperity," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
  7. Miklos Koren & Silvana Tenreyro, 2005. "Volatility and Development," CEP Discussion Papers dp0706, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. 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.
  9. Stephen Redding, 2002. "Specialization dynamics," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 210, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  10. Daniel Trefler & Susan Chun Zhu, 2005. "The Structure of Factor Content Predictions," NBER Working Papers 11221, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Burstein, Ariel T. & Neves, Joao C. & Rebelo, Sergio, 2003. "Distribution costs and real exchange rate dynamics during exchange-rate-based stabilizations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1189-1214, September.
  12. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 1998. "An Account of Global Factor Trade," NBER Working Papers 6785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Francesco Caselli, 2005. "Accounting for Cross-Country Income Differences," CEP Discussion Papers dp0667, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Bernstein, Jeffrey R. & Weinstein, David E., 2002. "Do endowments predict the location of production?: Evidence from national and international data," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 55-76, January.
  17. 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.
  18. Doireann Fitzgerald & Juan Carlos Hallak, 2002. "Specialization, Factor Accumulation and Development," Working Papers 488, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  19. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2000. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," CID Working Papers 42, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  20. James Harrigan, 1996. "Technology, Factor Supplies and International Specialization: Estimating the Neoclassical Model," NBER Working Papers 5722, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Caselli, Francesco & Feyrer, James, 2005. "The Marginal Product of Capital," CEPR Discussion Papers 5203, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Debaere, Peter & Demiroglu, Ufuk, 2003. "On the similarity of country endowments," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 101-136, January.
  23. Peter K. Schott, 2001. "One Size Fits All? Heckscher-Ohlin Specialization in Global Production," NBER Working Papers 8244, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Alan V. Deardorff, 1974. "A Geometry of Growth and Trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 7(2), pages 295-306, May.
  25. Deardorff, A.V., 1991. "The Possibility of Factor Price Equalization, Revisited," Working Papers 277, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. Ventura, Jaume, 1997. "Growth and Interdependence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 57-84, February.
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