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Physical and Human Capital Deepening and New Trade Patterns in Japan

  • Keiko Ito
  • Kyoji Fukao

This paper investigates the deepening of the international division of labor and its effect on factor intensities in Japan, mainly focusing on the manufacturing sector. In the first half of the paper, we analyze the factor contents of trade and find that Japan's factor content net-exports of capital and non-production labor grew rapidly while net-exports of production workers fell by a large amount during the period from 1980-2000. Interestingly, the decline in the factor content of net-exports of production workers was almost entirely caused by Japan's trade with China and Hong Kong. According to our decomposition analysis, however, most of the macro-economic change in the capital-labor ratio and the change in the skilled-labor ratio is attributable to a within-industry'shift rather than a between-industry' shift. Although we clearly see a drastic increase in VIIT and outsourcing to foreign countries, particularly to Asian countries, our empirical analysis provides only weak evidence that the deepening international division of labor contributes to changes in factor intensities in each industry. Our results suggest that specialization in the export of skilled-labor-intensive products may have contributed to the increase in the relative demand for skilled (professional, technical, managerial, and administrative) labor within industry. However, our results suggest that changes in trade patterns (specialization in capital-intensive production) cannot explain the rapid growth of capital-labor ratios in Japan.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10209.

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Date of creation: Jan 2004
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Publication status: published as Physical and Human Capital Deepening and New Trade Patterns in Japan , Keiko Ito, Kyoji Fukao. in International Trade in East Asia, NBER-East Asia Seminar on Economics, Volume 14 , Ito and Rose. 2005
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10209
Note: ITI
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  1. Kyoji Fukao & Tomohiko Inui & Hiroki Kawai & Tsutomu Miyagawa, 2004. "Sectoral Productivity and Economic Growth in Japan, 1970-98: An Empirical Analysis Based on the JIP Database," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d03-19, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  2. Falvey, Rodney E., 1981. "Commercial policy and intra-industry trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 495-511, November.
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  6. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1999. "The Impact Of Outsourcing And High-Technology Capital On Wages: Estimates For The United States, 1979-1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 907-940, August.
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  9. Berman, Eli & Bound, John & Griliches, Zvi, 1994. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U.S. Manufacturing: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufactures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 367-97, May.
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  12. Katz, Lawrence F. & Revenga, Ana L., 1989. "Changes in the structure of wages: The United States vs Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 522-553, December.
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  14. Lionel Fontagné & Michaël Freudenberg & Nicolas Peridy, 1997. "Trade Patterns Inside the Single Market," Working Papers 1997-07, CEPII research center.
  15. Davis, Donald R. & Weinstein, David E., 2003. "Why countries trade: Insights from firm-level data," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 432-447, December.
  16. Hijzen, Alexander & Görg, Holger & Hine, Robert C., 2003. "International Fragmentation and Relative Wages in the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 717, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Hak K. Pyo & Kwanghee Nam, 1999. "A Test of the Convergence Hypothesis by Rates of Return to Capital: Evidence from OECD Countries," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-51, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  18. Dale W. Jorgenson & Kazuyuki Motohashi, 2003. "Economic Growth of Japan and the United States in the Information Age," Discussion papers 03015, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  19. Greenaway, David & Hine, Robert C & Milner, Chris, 1995. "Vertical and Horizontal Intra-industry Trade: A Cross Industry Analysis for the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(433), pages 1505-18, November.
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