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Comparative Advantage, Exchange Rates, and G-7 Sectoral Trade Balances

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  • Stephen S. Golub

Abstract

This paper uses a Ricardian framework to clarify the role of microeconomic and macroeconomic factors governing the time series and cross-section behavior of sectoral trade balances. Unit labor costs and trade balances are calculated for several sectors for the seven major industrial countries. The time series and cross-section variation in sectoral unit labor costs is decomposed into relative productivity, wage differentials, and exchange rate variations. The main findings are that changes over time in sectoral trade balances, especially for the United States and Japan, are quite well explained by the evolution of unit labor cost, suggesting that trade patterns conform to comparative advantage. The cross-section results are, however, less conclusive.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen S. Golub, 1994. "Comparative Advantage, Exchange Rates, and G-7 Sectoral Trade Balances," IMF Working Papers 94/5, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:94/5
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    Cited by:

    1. Peter Hooper & Elizabeth Vranlovich, 1995. "International comparisons of the levels of unit labor costs in manufacturing," International Finance Discussion Papers 527, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. Brigitte Granville & Dominik Nagly, 2014. "Conflicting incentives for the public to support the EMU," Working Papers 50, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
    3. Ahmet Faruk Aysan & Yavuz Selim Hacihasanoglu, 2007. "Investigation on the Determinants of Turkish Export-Boom in 2000s," Working Papers 2007/19, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.
    4. Özler, Sule & Taymaz, Erol & YIlmaz, Kamil, 2009. "History Matters for the Export Decision: Plant-Level Evidence from Turkish Manufacturing Industry," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 479-488, February.
    5. Brigitte Granville & Dominik Nagly, 2015. "Conflicting Incentives for Public Support for EMU," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 83, pages 142-157, December.

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