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Globalization, Returns to Accumulationa and the World Distribution of Output

  • Paul Beaudry
  • Fabrice Collard

This paper examines the extent to which the process of globalization can explain the observed widening in the cross--country distribution of output--per--worker. In particular examine whether the opening up of trade in a Hecksher--Ohlin type model of trade can explain the observed changes. On the theoretical front the model highlights that, when the labor market is subject to a holdup problem, then the opening up of trade can cause an increase in the dispersion of income across countries similar to that observed in the data due to the emergence of a discrepancy between the private and social returns to capital accumulation that favors capital abundant countries. On the empirical front, we document the relevance of the model by examining whether growth patterns, decomposition exercises and specialization patterns support the model's predictions. Overall we find that over 50% of the recently observed increase in income dispersion across countries can be accounted for by the mechanism exemplified by the model.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10565.

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Date of creation: Jun 2004
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Publication status: published as Beaudry, Paul & Collard, Fabrice, 2006. "Globalization, returns to accumulation and the world distribution of output," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(5), pages 879-909, July.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10565
Note: EFG ITI
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  1. Danny Quah, 1992. "Empirical cross-section dynamics in economic growth," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 75, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. 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.
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  7. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 1993. "International Comparisons of Educational Attainment," NBER Working Papers 4349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1994. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," NBER Technical Working Papers 0151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Arai, Mahmood, 1999. "Wages, Profits and Capital Intensity: Evidence from Matched Worker-Firm Data," Research Papers in Economics 1999:3, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  10. William T. Dickens & Lawrence F. Katz, 1986. "Interindustry Wage Differences and Industry Characteristics," NBER Working Papers 2014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Michael Kremer & Alexei Onatski & James Stock, 2001. "Searching for Prosperity," NBER Working Papers 8250, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Ventura, Jaume, 1997. "Growth and Interdependence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 57-84, February.
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  15. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1990. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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