IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Skill Dispersion and Trade Flows

  • Matilde Bombardini

    ( University of British Columbia, CIFAR, NBER and RCEA)

  • Giovanni Gallipoli

    ( University of British Columbia and RCEA)

  • Germán Pupato

    ( University of British Columbia)

Is skill dispersion a source of comparative advantage? While it is established that a country's aggregate endowment of human capital is an important determinant of comparative advantage, this paper investigates whether the distribution of skills in the labor force can play a role in the determination of trade flows. We develop a multi-country, multi-sector model of trade in which comparative advantage derives from (i) differences across sectors in the complementarity of workers' skills, (ii) the dispersion of skills in the working population. First, we show how higher dispersion in human capital can trigger specialization in sectors characterized by higher substitutability among workers' skills. We then use industry-level bilateral trade data to show that human capital dispersion, as measured by a standard international metric, has a signi cant effect on trade flows. We nd that the effect is of a magnitude comparable to that of aggregate endowments. The result is robust to the introduction of several controls for other proximate causes of comparative advantage

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.rcfea.org/RePEc/pdf/wp20_09.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis in its series Working Paper Series with number 20_09.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Jan 2009
Date of revision: Jan 2009
Handle: RePEc:rim:rimwps:20_09
Contact details of provider: Postal: Via Patara, 3, 47921 Rimini (RN)
Phone: +390541434142
Fax: +39054155431
Web page: http://www.rcfea.org
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Arnaud Costinot & Ivana Komunjer, 2007. "What Goods Do Countries Trade? New Ricardian Predictions," NBER Working Papers 13691, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Arnaud Costinot & Jonathan Vogel, 2010. "Matching and Inequality in the World Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(4), pages 747-786, 08.
  3. S. Iranzo & F. Schivardi & E. Tosetti, 2006. "Skill dispersion and firm productivity: an analysis with employer-employee matched data," Working Paper CRENoS 200617, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  4. J. Adda & C. Dustmann, 2005. "Career Progression and Formal versus On the Job Training," 2005 Meeting Papers 141, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. 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.
  6. Giorgina Brown & John Micklewright & Sylke V. Schnepf & Robert Waldmann, 2007. "International surveys of educational achievement: how robust are the findings?," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 170(3), pages 623-646.
  7. Bougheas, Spiros & Riezman, Raymond, 2007. "Trade and the distribution of human capital," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 421-433, November.
  8. Helpman, Elhanan & Itskhoki, Oleg & Redding, Stephen J., 2009. "Inequality and Unemployment in a Global Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 7353, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Henri L. F. de Groot & Gert-Jan Linders & Piet Rietveld & Uma Subramanian, 2004. "The Institutional Determinants of Bilateral Trade Patterns," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(1), pages 103-123, 02.
  10. Nunn, Nathan, 2007. "Relationship-Specificity, Incomplete Contracts, and the Pattern of Trade," Scholarly Articles 4686801, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. Jane Friesen & Brian Krauth, 2004. "Sorting and inequality in Canadian schools," HEW 0408001, EconWPA.
  12. Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 271-303, 09.
  13. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 1998. "An Account of Global Factor Trade," NBER Working Papers 6785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Kristian Behrens & Andrea R. Lamorgese & Takatoshi Tabuchi, 2009. "Beyond the Home Market Effect: Market Size and Specialization in a Multi-Country World," Working Papers 2009.119, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  15. Jacob M. Markman & Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 2003. "Does peer ability affect student achievement?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(5), pages 527-544.
  16. Matilde Bombardini & Giovanni Gallipoli & Germán Pupato, 2009. "Skill Dispersion and Trade Flows," NBER Working Papers 15097, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Gordon B. Dahl, 2002. "Mobility and the Return to Education: Testing a Roy Model with Multiple Markets," RCER Working Papers 488, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  18. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2007. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," NBER Working Papers 12927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. 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.
  20. Grossmann, G.M. & Maggi, G., 1998. "Diversity and Trade," Papers 192, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  21. 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.
  22. Bradford J Jensen & Andrew B Bernard, 1994. "Exporters, Skill Upgrading And The Wage Gap," Working Papers 94-13, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  23. Manova, Kalina, 2008. "Credit constraints, equity market liberalizations and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 33-47, September.
  24. Kalina Manova, 2013. "Credit Constraints, Heterogeneous Firms, and International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(2), pages 711-744.
  25. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro, 2003. "Human Capital Policy," NBER Working Papers 9495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. 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.
  27. Ross, Stephen A, 1981. "Some Stronger Measures of Risk Aversion in the Small and the Large with Applications," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(3), pages 621-38, May.
  28. 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.
  29. Takii, Katsuya & Tanaka, Ryuichi, 2009. "Does the diversity of human capital increase GDP? A comparison of education systems," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 998-1007, August.
  30. Estelle James, 1993. "Why Do Different Countries Choose a Different Public-Private Mix of Educational Services?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(3), pages 571-592.
  31. John Romalis, 2004. "Factor Proportions and the Structure of Commodity Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 67-97, March.
  32. Heiwai Tang, 2010. "Labor Market Institutions, Firm-specific Skills, and Trade Patterns," Development Working Papers 301, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  33. Roland Benabou, 1993. "Heterogeneity, Stratification, and Growth," NBER Working Papers 4311, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  34. Heckman, James & Scheinkman, Jose, 1987. "The Importance of Bundling in a Gorman-Lancaster Model of Earnings," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2), pages 243-55, April.
  35. Kremer, Michael, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-75, August.
  36. Stole, Lars A & Zwiebel, Jeffrey, 1996. "Intra-firm Bargaining under Non-binding Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(3), pages 375-410, July.
  37. Benabou, Roland, 1996. "Heterogeneity, Stratification, and Growth: Macroeconomic Implications of Community Structure and School Finance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 584-609, June.
  38. Acemoglu, Daron & Antras, Pol & Helpman, Elhanan, 2007. "Contracts and Technology Adoption," Scholarly Articles 3199063, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  39. Cuñat, Alejandro & Melitz, Marc J., 2009. "A Many-Country, Many-Good Model of Labor Market Rigidities as a Source of Comparative Advantage," Scholarly Articles 9299644, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  40. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  41. Elhanan Helpman & Oleg Itskhoki & Stephen Redding, 2008. "Wages, Unemployment and Inequality with Heterogeneous Firms and Workers," NBER Working Papers 14122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  42. Gene M. Grossman, 2004. "The Distribution of Talent and the Pattern and Consequences of International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(1), pages 209-239, February.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. Skill Dispersion and Trade Flows (AER 2012) in ReplicationWiki

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rim:rimwps:20_09. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marco Savioli)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.