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Human Capital Formation and International Trade

This paper develops a two-country, two-sector model of trade where the only difference between two countries is the cost of human capital formation. It is shown that this difference completely shapes the pattern of trade. Trade, in turn, affects the distribution of human capital both at extensive and intensive margins. Furthermore, cross-country differences in the costs of human capital formation determine the effects of trade on income distribution and welfare in each country. The paper also shows that lowering the cost of human capital acquisition in one country affects human capital formation, income distribution, and welfare asymmetrically in two countries.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Louisiana State University in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 2013-01.

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Handle: RePEc:lsu:lsuwpp:2013-01
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  1. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 1978. "On the Size Distribution of Business Firms," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 508-523, Autumn.
  2. Spiros Bougheas & Raymond Riezman, 2005. "Trade and the Distribution of Human Capital," CESifo Working Paper Series 1475, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Jota Ishikawa, 1996. "Scale Economies in Factor Supplies: International Trade, and Migration," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(3), pages 573-94, August.
  4. Galor, Oded & Mountford, Andrew, 2008. "Trading Population for Productivity: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 6678, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Francisco J. Buera & Joseph Kaboski & Yongseok Shin, 2009. "Finance and Development: A Tale of Two Sectors," NBER Working Papers 14914, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Borsook, I., 1987. "Earnings, ability and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3-4), pages 281-295, May.
  7. Bond, Eric W., 1986. "Entrepreneurial ability, income distribution, and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3-4), pages 343-356, May.
  8. Kevin O’rourke & Jeffrey Williamson, 2005. "From Malthus to Ohlin: Trade, Industrialisation and Distribution Since 1500," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 5-34, 01.
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