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The Heckscher-Ohlin-Vanek Model of Trade: Why Does It Fail? When Does It Work?

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Listed:
  • Donald R. Davis
  • David E. Weinstein
  • Scott C. Bradford
  • Kazushige Shimpo

Abstract

The Heckscher-Ohlin-Vanek model of factor service trade is a central construct in international economics. Empirically, though, it is a flop. This warrants a new approach. Using Japanese regional data we are able to test the HOV model by independently examining its component production and consumption elements. The strict HOV model performs poorly because it cannot explain the international location of production. However, relaxing the assumption of universal factor price equalization yields a dramatic improvement. We also solve most of what Trefler (1995) calls the mystery of the missing trade. In sum, the HOV model performs remarkably well.

Suggested Citation

  • Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein & Scott C. Bradford & Kazushige Shimpo, 1996. "The Heckscher-Ohlin-Vanek Model of Trade: Why Does It Fail? When Does It Work?," NBER Working Papers 5625, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5625 Note: ITI
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dow, James & da Costa Werlang, Sergio Ribeiro, 1992. "Homothetic preferences," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 389-394.
    2. Leamer, Edward E. & Levinsohn, James, 1995. "International trade theory: The evidence," Handbook of International Economics,in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1339-1394 Elsevier.
    3. Trefler, Daniel, 1993. "International Factor Price Differences: Leontief Was Right!," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 961-987, December.
    4. Courant, Paul N & Deardorff, Alan V, 1992. "International Trade with Lumpy Countries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 198-210, February.
    5. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-499, June.
    6. Trefler, Daniel, 1995. "The Case of the Missing Trade and Other Mysteries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1029-1046, December.
    7. Davis, Donald R., 1995. "Intra-industry trade: A Heckscher-Ohlin-Ricardo approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 201-226, November.
    8. Deardorff, Alan V., 1984. "Testing trade theories and predicting trade flows," Handbook of International Economics,in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 467-517 Elsevier.
    9. Helpman, Elhanan, 1981. "International trade in the presence of product differentiation, economies of scale and monopolistic competition : A Chamberlin-Heckscher-Ohlin approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 305-340, August.
    10. Hunter, Linda, 1991. "The contribution of nonhomothetic preferences to trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3-4), pages 345-358, May.
    11. Maskus, Keith E., 1985. "A test of the Heckscher-Ohlin-Vanek theorem: The Leontief commonplace," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 201-212, November.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 1996. "Does Economic Geography Matter for International Specialization?," NBER Working Papers 5706, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Araújo, Bruno Cesar & Bogliacino, Francesco & Vivarelli, Marco, 2009. "The Role of "Skill Enhancing Trade" in Brazil: Some Evidence from Microdata," IZA Discussion Papers 4213, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Donald R. Davis, 1996. "Does European Unemployment Prop Up American Wages?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1752, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    4. Lionel Fontagné & Michael Frudenberg & Nicolas Péridy, 1998. "Commerce international et structures de marché : une vérification empirique," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 135(4), pages 147-167.
    5. Johan Torstensson, 1998. "Country size and comparative advantage: An empirical study," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 134(4), pages 590-611, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • D5 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium

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