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Physical and Human Capital Deepening and New Trade Patterns in Japan

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  • Keiko Ito
  • Kyoji Fukao

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Keiko Ito & Kyoji Fukao, 2004. "Physical and Human Capital Deepening and New Trade Patterns in Japan," NBER Working Papers 10209, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10209
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    1. Jose Manuel Campa & Linda S. Goldberg, 1997. "The evolving external orientation of manufacturing: a profile of four countries," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Jul, pages 53-81.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kyoji Fukao & Toshihiro Okubo, 2004. "Why Has the Border Effect in the Japanese Market Declined?: The Role of Business Networks in East Asia," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d03-24, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    2. Kimura, Fukunari & Obashi, Ayako, 2011. "Production Networks in East Asia: What We Know So Far," ADBI Working Papers 320, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    3. repec:wsi:dltcxx:v:01:y:2005:i:01:n:s0219871105000037 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Sanghoon Ahn & Kyoji Fukao & Keiko Ito, 2008. "The Impact of Outsourcing on the Japanese and South Korean Labor Markets: International Outsourcing of Intermediate Inputs and Assembly in East Asia," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd08-001, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    5. Yamashita, Nobuaki, 2008. "The impact of production fragmentation on skill upgrading: New evidence from Japanese manufacturing," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 545-565, December.
    6. ANDO Mitsuyo & KIMURA Fukunari, 2011. "Globalizing Corporate Activities in East Asia and Impact on Domestic Operations: Further evidence from Japanese manufacturing firms," Discussion papers 11034, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    7. Hitoshi Sasaki & Kenichi Sakura, 2005. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within Japan's Manufacturing Sector:Effects of Skill-Biased Technological Change and Globalization," Bank of Japan Working Paper Series 05-E-12, Bank of Japan.
    8. Fukunari Kimura, 2009. "The Nature and Characteristics of Production Networks in East Asia: Evidences from Micro/Panel Data Analyses," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd09-093, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    9. Peter Egger & Mario Larch & Michael Pfaffermayr, 2007. "Bilateral versus Multilateral Trade and Investment Liberalisation," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(4), pages 567-596, April.
    10. Elisabeth Kutschka, 2011. "Quality Upgrading, Skill Demand and International Trade: The Case of German Manufacturing," FEMM Working Papers 110022, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
    11. ANDO Mitsuyo & KIMURA Fukunari, 2007. "International Production/Distribution Networks and Domestic Operations in terms of Employment and Corporate Organization: Microdata Analysis of Japanese Firms," Discussion papers 07063, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    12. Nordås, Hildegunn Kyvik, 2007. "International production sharing: A case for a coherent policy framework," WTO Discussion Papers 11, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade

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