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Sources of Comparative Advantages in Brazil

  • Beatriz Muriel

    (PUC-Rio)

  • Cristina Terra

    (THEMA - Université de Cergy-Pontoise - EPGE - Fundação Getulio Vargas)

Based on the Heckscher-Ohlin-Vanek model, this paper investigates relative factor abundance in Brazil, as revealed by its international trade. We study two different time periods: one characterized by high trade barriers (1980 to 1985) and the trade liberalization period (1990 to 1995). Two alternative methodologies are used: the estimation of factor intensity regressions on net exports and the direct computation of factor content in net exports. In the factor intensity regression, we incorporate techno- logical changes that might have occurred over time, and those turned out to be significant. Both methods yield the same results: the Brazilian in- ternational trade reveals relative abundance in capital, land and unskilled labor, and scarcity in skilled labor, with qualitatively equivalent results for the two time periods studied.

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Paper provided by THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise in its series THEMA Working Papers with number 2008-12.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ema:worpap:2008-12
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  1. Davis, D.R. & Weinstein, D.E., 1999. "An Account of Global Factor Trade," Working Papers 435, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  2. Terra, Maria Cristina T. & Gonzaga, Gustavo & Menezes Filho, Naércio Aquino, 2002. "Trade Liberalization and the Evolution of Skill Earnings Differentials in Brazil," Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 457, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  3. Leamer, Edward E & Bowen, Harry P, 1981. "Cross-Section Tests of the Heckscher-Ohlin Theorem: Comment [Factor Abundance and Comparative Advantage]," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 1040-43, December.
  4. Bowen, Harry P & Leamer, Edward E & Sveikauskas, Leo, 1987. "Multicountry, Multifactor Tests of the Factor Abundance Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 791-809, December.
  5. Leamer, Edward E, 1980. "The Leontief Paradox, Reconsidered," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(3), pages 495-503, June.
  6. Baldwin, Robert E, 1971. "Determinants of the Commodity Structure of U.S. Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 126-46, March.
  7. James A. Kahn & Jong-Soo Lim, 1997. "Skilled labor -- augmenting technical progress in U.S. manufacturing," Research Paper 9738, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  8. Trefler, Daniel, 1993. "International Factor Price Differences: Leontief Was Right!," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 961-87, December.
  9. Edward E. Leamer, 1996. "In Search of Stolper-Samuelson Effects on U.S. Wages," NBER Working Papers 5427, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Harkness, Jon P, 1978. "Factor Abundance and Comparative Advantage," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(5), pages 784-800, December.
  11. Harry P. Bowen & Leo Sveikauskas, 1989. "Judging Factor Abundance," NBER Working Papers 3059, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Branson, William H. & Monoyios, Nikolaos, 1977. "Factor inputs in U.S. trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 111-131, May.
  13. Ronald W. Jones, 1965. "The Structure of Simple General Equilibrium Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73, pages 557.
  14. Pedro Cavalcanti Ferreira & JosÈ Luiz Rossi, 2003. "New Evidence from Brazil on Trade Liberalization and Productivity Growth," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(4), pages 1383-1405, November.
  15. Gustavo Gonzaga & Naércio Menezes Filho & Cristina Terra, 2002. "Trade liberalization and evolution of skill earnings differentials in Brazil," Textos para discussão 463, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
  16. Ramazani, Reza M & Maskus, Keith E, 1993. "A Test of the Factor Endowments Model of Trade in a Rapidly Industrializing Country: The Case of Korea," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(3), pages 568-72, August.
  17. Aw, Bee-Yan, 1983. "The interpretation of cross-section regression tests of the heckscher-ohlin theorem with many goods and factors," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1-2), pages 163-167, February.
  18. Susan Chun Zhu & Daniel Trefler, 2000. "Beyond the Algebra of Explanation: HOV for the Technology Age," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 145-149, May.
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