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Productivity Differences in an Interdependent World

  • Fadinger, Harald

This paper studies cross country differences in productivity from an open economy perspective by using a Helpman-Krugman-Heckscher-Ohlin model. This allows to combine tools from development accounting and the trade literature. When simultaneously fitting data on income, factor prices and the factor content of trade, I find that rich countries have far higher productivities of human capital than poor ones, while differences in physical capital productivity are not systematically related to income per worker. I estimate an aggregate elasticity of substitution between human and physical capital that is significantly below one, clearly rejecting a world that consists of a collection of Cobb-Douglas economies and also one where Heckscher-Ohlin trade is important.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 7603.

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Date of creation: Mar 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:7603
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  1. Harrigan, James, 1997. "Technology, Factor Supplies, and International Specialization: Estimating the Neoclassical Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 475-94, September.
  2. Hamermesh, Daniel S., 1987. "The demand for labor in the long run," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 429-471 Elsevier.
  3. Trefler, Daniel, 1993. "International Factor Price Differences: Leontief Was Right!," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 961-87, December.
  4. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
  5. Davis, D.R. & Weinstein, D.E., 1999. "An Account of Global Factor Trade," Working Papers 435, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  6. Ben S. Bernanke & Refet S. Gurkaynak, 2001. "Is Growth Exogenous? Taking Mankiw, Romer and Weil Seriously," NBER Working Papers 8365, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Prescott, Edward C, 1998. "Needed: A Theory of Total Factor Productivity," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(3), pages 525-51, August.
  8. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 2001. "The Factor Content of Trade," NBER Working Papers 8637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Ventura, Jaume, 2005. "A Global View of Economic Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 22, pages 1419-1497 Elsevier.
  10. Scott L. Baier & Gerald P. Dwyer & Robert Tamura, 2006. "Factor Returns, Institutions, and Geography: A View From Trade," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp166, IIIS.
  11. Ventura, Jaume, 1997. "Growth and Interdependence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 57-84, February.
  12. Douglas Gollin, 2001. "Getting Income Shares Right," Department of Economics Working Papers 2001-11, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  13. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
  14. Daniel Trefler & Susan Chun Zhu, 2005. "The Structure of Factor Content Predictions," NBER Working Papers 11221, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2001. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 541-63, July.
  16. Peter Klenow & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 1997. "The Neoclassical Revival in Growth Economics: Has It Gone Too Far?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 73-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Caselli, Francesco & Feyrer, James, 2005. "The Marginal Product of Capital," CEPR Discussion Papers 5203, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "Labor- and Capital- Augmenting Technical Change," NBER Working Papers 7544, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. 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.
  20. Keith E. Maskus & Shuichiro Nishioka, 2009. "Development-related biases in factor productivities and the HOV model of trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(2), pages 519-553, May.
  21. Choi, E. Kwan & Harrigan, James, 2003. "Handbook of International Trade," Staff General Research Papers 11375, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  22. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Why Doesn't Capital Flow from Rich to Poor Countries?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 92-96, May.
  23. Alan V. Deardorff, 1995. "Determinants of Bilateral Trade: Does Gravity Work in a Neoclassical World?," NBER Working Papers 5377, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. 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.
  25. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1994. "Capital fundamentalism, economic development, and economic growth," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 259-292, June.
  26. Francesco Caselli, 2005. "Accounting for cross-country income differences," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3567, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  27. Jaume Ventura, 2005. "A Global View of Economic Growth," Working Papers 203, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  28. Antràs Pol, 2004. "Is the U.S. Aggregate Production Function Cobb-Douglas? New Estimates of the Elasticity of Substitution," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-36, April.
  29. Trefler, Daniel, 1995. "The Case of the Missing Trade and Other Mysteries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1029-46, December.
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