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Do Factor Endowments Matter for North-North Trade?

Author

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  • Donald R. Davis
  • David E. Weinstein

Abstract

The dominant paradigm of world trade patterns posits two principal features. Trade between North and South arises due to traditional comparative advantage, largely determined by differences in endowment patterns. Trade within the North, much of it intra-industry trade, is based on economies of scale and product differentiation. The paradigm specifically denies an important role for endowment differences in determining North-North trade. This paper provides the first sound empirical examination of this question. We demonstrate that trade in factor services among countries of the North is systematically related to endowment differences and large in economic magnitude. Intra-industry trade, rather than being a puzzle for a factor endowments theory, is instead the conduit for a great deal of this factor service trade.

Suggested Citation

  • Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 2001. "Do Factor Endowments Matter for North-North Trade?," NBER Working Papers 8516, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8516
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Elhanan Helpman, 1999. "The Structure of Foreign Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 121-144, Spring.
    2. Davis, Donald R. & David E. Weinstein & Scott C. Bradford & Kazushige Shimpo, 1997. "Using International and Japanese Regional Data to Determine When the Factor Abundance Theory of Trade Works," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 421-446, June.
    3. Werner Antweiler & Daniel Trefler, 2002. "Increasing Returns and All That: A View from Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 93-119, March.
    4. 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.
    5. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 2001. "An Account of Global Factor Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1423-1453, December.
    6. Harrigan, James, 1997. "Technology, Factor Supplies, and International Specialization: Estimating the Neoclassical Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 475-494, September.
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    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Wood, Adrian, 1995. "North-South Trade, Employment and Inequality: Changing Fortunes in a Skill-Driven World," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198290155.
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    12. Bernstein, Jeffrey R. & Weinstein, David E., 2002. "Do endowments predict the location of production?: Evidence from national and international data," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 55-76, January.
    13. Lancaster, Kelvin, 1980. "Intra-industry trade under perfect monopolistic competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 151-175, May.
    14. Repetto, A. & Ventura, J., 1997. "The Leontief-Trefler Hypothesis and Factor Price Insensitivity," Working papers 97-13, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    15. Bowen, Harry P & Leamer, Edward E & Sveikauskas, Leo, 1987. "Multicountry, Multifactor Tests of the Factor Abundance Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 791-809, December.
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    17. Helpman, Elhanan, 1984. "The Factor Content of Foreign Trade," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(373), pages 84-94, March.
    18. 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.
    19. Brecher, Richard A. & Choudhri, Ehsan U., 1982. "The factor content of international trade without factor-price equalization," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3-4), pages 277-283, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Robbins, Donald J., 2003. "The impact of trade liberalization upon inequality in developing countries : a review of theory and evidence," ILO Working Papers 993650553402676, International Labour Organization.
    3. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 2001. "The Factor Content of Trade," NBER Working Papers 8637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Alejandro Cuñat & Marco Maffezzoli, 2007. "Can Comparative Advantage Explain the Growth of us Trade?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(520), pages 583-602, April.
    5. Yoke Fong Kong & Richard Kneller, 2016. "Measuring the Impact of China's Export Growth on its Asian Neighbours," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(2), pages 195-220, February.
    6. Strauss-Kahn, Vanessa, 2003. "Globalization and wage premia: reconciling facts and theory," MPRA Paper 20410, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Manuel Cabral & Rod Falvey & Chris Milner, 2009. "Does Skill Content Explain Total Trade and Intra-Industry Trade?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 71(5), pages 601-619, October.
    8. Jin, Keyu, 2009. "Industrial structure and financial capital flows," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25827, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    9. Dudley, Leonard & Moenius, Johannes, 2007. "The great realignment: How factor-biased innovation reshaped comparative advantage in the U.S. and Japan, 1970-1992," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 112-132, January.
    10. repec:ilo:ilowps:365055 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Reimer, Jeffrey J., 2006. "Global production sharing and trade in the services of factors," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 384-408, March.
    12. DUDLEY, Leonard & MOENIUS, Johannes, 2003. "Directed Technical Change and International Trade," Cahiers de recherche 2003-18, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
    13. Widell, Lars, 2005. "On Measurements of the Factor Content of Trade: - The Case of Sweden," Working Papers 2005:7, Örebro University, School of Business.

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    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade

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