IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Specialization, Factor Accumulation and Development

  • Doireann Fitzgerald

    (Harvard University)

  • Juan Carlos Hallak

    (Harvard University)

The Heckscher-Ohlin theory links specialization of production to relative factor endowments. Endowments are the result of accumulation in response to economic in-centives. Taking this into account allows us to reconcile wildly di¤erent predictions in the empirical literature about the e¤ect of capital accumulation on manufacturing output. We estimate the e¤ect of factor proportions on specialization in a cross-section of OECD countries. We show that using the estimation results alone, we cannot dis-tinguish between specialization driven by factor proportions, and specialization that is correlated with factor proportions for other reasons. But our results are consistent with evidence on sectoral factor intensities, which supports the H-O theory. Moreover, our model does a good job of predicting the substantial reallocation that takes place within manufacturing as countries grow. It explains 2/3 of the observed di¤erence in the pattern of specialization between the poorest and richest OECD countries.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan in its series Working Papers with number 488.

in new window

Length: 48 Pages
Date of creation: 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mie:wpaper:488
Contact details of provider: Postal: ANN ARBOR MICHIGAN 48109
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:114:y:1999:i:1:p:83-116 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. James Harrigan & Egon Zakrajsek, 2000. "Factor supplies and specialization in the world economy," Staff Reports 107, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  3. Deardorff, Alan V, 1982. "The General Validity of the Heckscher-Ohlin Theorem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(4), pages 683-94, September.
  4. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 1998. "An Account of Global Factor Trade," NBER Working Papers 6785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 1996. "Does Economic Geography Matter for International Specialization?," NBER Working Papers 5706, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. James Harrigan, 1996. "Technology, factor supplies, and international specialization: estimating the neoclassical model," Staff Reports 15, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  7. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:110:y:1995:i:4:p:1127-70 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. James Harrigan, 2001. "Specialization and the volume of trade: do the data obey the laws?," Staff Reports 140, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  9. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Bernstein, Jeffrey R. & Weinstein, David E., 2002. "Do endowments predict the location of production?: Evidence from national and international data," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 55-76, January.
  11. Peter Klenow & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 1997. "The Neoclassical Revival in Growth Economics: Has It Gone Too Far?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 73-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Leamer, Edward E, 1987. "Paths of Development in the Three-Factor, n-Good General Equilibrium Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(5), pages 961-99, October.
  13. Islam, Nazrul, 1999. "International Comparison of Total Factor Productivity: A Review," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 45(4), pages 493-518, December.
  14. John Romalis, 2004. "Factor Proportions and the Structure of Commodity Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 67-97, March.
  15. Trefler, Daniel, 1995. "The Case of the Missing Trade and Other Mysteries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1029-46, December.
  16. 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.
  17. Dougherty, Chrys & Jorgenson, Dale W, 1996. "International Comparisons of the Sources of Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 25-29, May.
  18. Deardorff, Alan V., 1979. "Weak links in the chain of comparative advantage," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 197-209, May.
  19. Leamer, Edward E, 1974. "The Commodity Composition of International Trade in Manufactures: An Empirical Analysis," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(3), pages 350-74, November.
  20. 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.
  21. Davis, Donald R. & David E. Weinstein & Scott C. Bradford & Kazushige Shimpo, 1997. "Using International and Japanese Regional Data to Determine When the Factor Abundance Theory of Trade Works," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 421-46, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mie:wpaper:488. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (FSPP Webmaster)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.