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Task Trade between Similar Countries

  • Gene M. Grossman
  • Esteban Rossi-Hansberg

We propose a theory of task trade between countries that have similar relative factor endowments but may differ in size. Firms produce differentiated goods by performing a continuum of tasks, each of which generates local spillovers. Tasks can be performed at home or abroad, but offshoring entails costs that vary by task. In equilibrium, the tasks with the highest offshoring costs may not be traded. Among the remainder, those with the relatively higher offshoring costs are performed in the country that has the higher wage and higher aggregate output. We discuss the relationship between equilibrium wages, equilibrium outputs, and relative country size and examine how the pattern of specialization reflects the key parameters of the model.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14554.

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Date of creation: Dec 2008
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Publication status: published as Gene M. Grossman & Esteban Rossi‐Hansberg, 2012. "Task Trade Between Similar Countries," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(2), pages 593-629, 03.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14554
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  1. Gene M. Grossman & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2006. "Trading Tasks: A Simple Theory of Offshoring," NBER Working Papers 12721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Alexandra Spitz-Oener, 2006. "Technical Change, Job Tasks, and Rising Educational Demands: Looking outside the Wage Structure," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 235-270, April.
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  17. Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 2007. "Offshoring in a Ricardian World," Working Papers id:1043, eSocialSciences.
  18. Franziska Ohnsorge & Daniel Trefler, 2007. "Sorting It Out: International Trade with Heterogeneous Workers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(5), pages 868-892, October.
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  25. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2232, David K. Levine.
  26. Gene M. Grossman & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2010. "External Economies and International Trade Redux," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(2), pages 829-858.
  27. Amiti, Mary, 1998. "Inter-industry trade in manufactures: Does country size matter?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 231-255, April.
  28. Jose Campa & Linda S. Goldberg, 1997. "The Evolving External Orientation of Manufacturing Industries: Evidence from Four Countries," NBER Working Papers 5919, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  30. Robert C. Feenstra & Gene M. Grossman & Douglas A. Irwin (ed.), 1996. "The Political Economy of Trade Policy: Papers in Honor of Jagdish Bhagwati," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061864, June.
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