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Fundamental comparative advantage versus random talent: An analysis using chess data

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  • Asier Minondo

    (Deusto Business School, University of Deusto, Camino de Mundaiz 50, 20012 Donostia - San Sebastian (Spain). Research afiliate of Instituto Complutense de Estudios Internacionales.)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the contribution of fundamental comparative advantage and random talent to explain differences in the number of expert chess players across countries. I posit a model where the quality of a chess player is determined by her innate talent and the fundamental comparative advantage of the country she is born. Using data on chess players FIDE ratings for 2015, I find that fundamental comparative advantage explains between 65% and 97% of the variation in the number of expert chess players across countries. Despite the appearance of chess servers that allow playing on-line and other tools to improve skills, I do not find convergence in comparative advantage over the period 2001-2015. I find that fundamental comparative advantage is highly positively correlated with the popularity of chess. These results highlight that a social preference might generate a more advanced technology which leads to a fundamental comparative advantage.

Suggested Citation

  • Asier Minondo, 2016. "Fundamental comparative advantage versus random talent: An analysis using chess data," Working Papers 1605, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia.
  • Handle: RePEc:eec:wpaper:1605
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    comparative advantage; preferences; chess; Internet; convergence;

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade

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