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Complexity as a source of comparative advantage

  • Asier Minondo

    ()

    (Deusto Business School - University of Deusto)

  • Francisco Requena

    ()

    (University of Valencia)

This paper analyzes whether complexity, measured by the number of skilled tasks that are performed simultaneously in production, explains countries' commodity trade structure. We modify Romalis (2004) model to incorporate differences in complexity across commodities together with differences in average skills across countries and monopolistic competition. Our model predicts that the share of developed countries in world trade increases with products' complexity. The empirical tests confirm this prediction. Moreover, complexity seems to provide a better explanation of countries' commodity trade structure than the one offered only by skill intensity.

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File URL: ftp://147.156.210.157/RePEc/pdf/eec_1214.pdf
File Function: First version, 2012
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia in its series Working Papers with number 1214.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eec:wpaper:1214
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  1. Arnaud Costinot & Lindsay Oldenski & James Rauch, 2011. "Adaptation and the Boundary of Multinational Firms," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 298-308, February.
  2. Chor, Davin, 2010. "Unpacking sources of comparative advantage: A quantitative approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 152-167, November.
  3. Justin R. Pierce & Peter K. Schott, 2009. "A Concordance Between Ten-Digit U.S. Harmonized System Codes and SIC/NAICS Product Classes and Industries," NBER Working Papers 15548, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Gene M. Grossman & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2006. "Trading Tasks: A Simple Theory of Offshoring," NBER Working Papers 12721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The Skill Content Of Recent Technological Change: An Empirical Exploration," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1279-1333, November.
  6. Alan S. Blinder, 2009. "How Many US Jobs Might be Offshorable?," World Economics, World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 10(2), pages 41-78, April.
  7. John Romalis, 2004. "Factor Proportions and the Structure of Commodity Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 67-97, March.
  8. 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.
  9. Kremer, Michael, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-75, August.
  10. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2010. "A New Data Set of Educational Attainment in the World, 1950-2010," NBER Working Papers 15902, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Niven Winchester & David Greenaway & Geoffrey V. Reed, 2006. "Skill Classification and the Effects of Trade on Wage Inequality," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 142(2), pages 287-306, July.
  12. Costinot, Arnaud, 2007. "On the Origins of Comparative Advantage," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt07g7g8h8, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  13. Cesar A. Hidalgo & Ricardo Hausmann, 2009. "The Building Blocks of Economic Complexity," Papers 0909.3890, arXiv.org.
  14. Morrow, Peter M., 2010. "Ricardian-Heckscher-Ohlin comparative advantage: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 137-151, November.
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