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The Empirics of General Equilibrium Trade Theory: What Have We Learned?

  • Daniel M. Bernhofen

This paper provides a selective survey of over half a century of research linking the neoclassical trade model to the data. Tensions between restrictive formulations of the model and real world complexities have launched a research agenda aimed at refining and reformulating theory to provide more convincing links between theoretical specification and empirical research design. Three lessons stand out. First, competitive and new trade theory models are complementary rather than competing ways to look at many existing empirical regularities. Second, the Ricardian formulation has proved to be a useful framework for structural estimation exercises regarding the pattern of international specialization. Third, empirical confirmations of the core predictions of the model provide scientific support for employing the competitive trade model in structural estimation.

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Paper provided by University of Nottingham, GEP in its series Discussion Papers with number 10/24.

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Handle: RePEc:not:notgep:10/24
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  7. Neary, J Peter & Schweinberger, Albert G, 1986. "Factor Content Functions and the Theory of International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(3), pages 421-32, July.
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  12. Harry P. Bowen & Edward E. Leamer & Leo Sveikauskas, 1986. "Multicountry, Multifactor Tests of the Factor Abundance Theory," NBER Working Papers 1918, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. John Romalis, 2004. "Factor Proportions and the Structure of Commodity Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 67-97, March.
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  15. Yong-Seok Choi & Pravin Krishna, 2004. "The Factor Content of Bilateral Trade: An Empirical Test," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 887-914, August.
  16. Andrei A. Levchenko, 2007. "Institutional Quality and International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 791-819.
  17. Daniel M. Bernhofen, 2005. "The Empirics of Comparative Advantage: Overcoming the Tyranny of Nonrefutability," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(5), pages 1017-1023, November.
  18. Brecher, Richard A & Choudhri, Ehsan U, 1982. "The Leontief Paradox, Continued," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(4), pages 820-23, August.
  19. Bernhofen, Daniel M., 2009. "Multiple cones, factor price differences and the factor content of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 266-271, November.
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