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The OPEC Surplus and U.S.-LDC Trade


  • William H. Branson


This paper explores the connections between the shift of world saving toward OPEC and the changing structure of U.S. trade with the non-oil developing countries. The basic point of the paper is that during the 1970s the U.S. economy has become more interdependent through trade with the newly industrializing countries (NICs) in the developing world. The shift of world saving toward OPEC in the 1970s effectively internationalized the supply of saving, as OPEC places its surplus in the international financial system. The NICs and other developing countries borrow the surplus and direct it to domestic investment. Investment in the NICs stimulates the demand for U.S. capital goods. The reallocation of resources towards capital goods production in the U.S. stimulates excess demand for consumer goods, which appear as imports from the NICs. U.S. exports of capital goods to these countries have grown rapidly in the 1970s as have U.S. imports of non-food, non-auto consumer goods from them. Thus the structure of U.S. trade has been reoriented to become complementary with the rapidly- growing developing countries, and perhaps more competitive with Europe and Japan.

Suggested Citation

  • William H. Branson, 1981. "The OPEC Surplus and U.S.-LDC Trade," NBER Working Papers 0791, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0791
    Note: ITI IFM

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lewis, W Arthur, 1980. "The Slowing Down of the Engine of Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 555-564, September.
    2. William H. Branson & Julio J. Rotemberg, 1991. "International Adjustment with Wage Rigidity," NBER Chapters,in: International Volatility and Economic Growth: The First Ten Years of The International Seminar on Macroeconomics, pages 13-44 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. David Lipton & Jeffrey Sachs, 1980. "Accumulation and Growth in a Two-Country Model: A Simulation Approach," NBER Working Papers 0572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Colin I. Bradford, Jr, 1987. "NICs and the Next-Tier NICs as Transitional Economies," NBER Chapters,in: Trade and Structural Change in Pacific Asia, pages 173-204 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. William A. Darity & E. V. K. Fitzgerald, 1984. "A Kalecki-Keynes model of world trade, finance, and economic growth," International Finance Discussion Papers 238, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Robert E. Lipsey, 1982. "Recent Trends in U.S. Trade and Investment," NBER Working Papers 1009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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