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Comparative Advantage and Long-Run Growth

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  • Gene M. Grossman
  • Elhanan Helpman

Abstract

We construct a dynamic, two-country model of trade and growth in which endogenous technological progress results from the profit-maximizing behavior of entrepreneurs. We study the role that the external trading environment and that trade and industrial policies play in the determination of long-run growth rates. We find that cross-country differences in efficiency at R&D versus manufacturing (i.e. comparative advantage) bear importantly on the growth effects of economic structure and commercial policies. Our analysis allows for both natural and acquired comparative advantage, and we discuss the primitive determinants of the latter.

Suggested Citation

  • Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1989. "Comparative Advantage and Long-Run Growth," NBER Working Papers 2809, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2809
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    1. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1989. "Product Development and International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1261-1283, December.
    2. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Issues in Assessing the Contribution of Research and Development to Productivity Growth," NBER Chapters, in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 17-45, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Krugman, Paul, 1987. "The narrow moving band, the Dutch disease, and the competitive consequences of Mrs. Thatcher : Notes on trade in the presence of dynamic scale economies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1-2), pages 41-55, October.
    4. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "National and International Returns to Scale in the Modern Theory of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 389-405, June.
    5. Judd, Kenneth L, 1985. "On the Performance of Patents," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(3), pages 567-585, May.
    6. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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