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Trade liberalization in a Heckscher–Ohlin model: Does public skill formation change the conventional results?


  • Rossana Patrón

    (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)


Standard trade theory suggests that trade liberalization produces opposite effects on human capital accumulation in developed and developing countries, reducing the incentives to invest in education in skill-scarce countries. How would conventional wisdom be modified if we introduce public provision of education in the standard framework? This paper develops a simple model for this purpose, showing that when skills formation depends on public provision of education, trade liberalization affects the human capital accumulation process depending on the economic structure; thus, in contrast to the previous literature, this framework explains convergence or divergence in the accumulation of skills between trading countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Rossana Patrón, 2009. "Trade liberalization in a Heckscher–Ohlin model: Does public skill formation change the conventional results?," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 1809, Department of Economics - dECON.
  • Handle: RePEc:ude:wpaper:1809

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Findlay, Ronald & Kierzkowski, Henryk, 1983. "International Trade and Human Capital: A Simple General Equilibrium Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(6), pages 957-978, December.
    2. Donald R. Davis & Trevor A. Reeve, 1997. "Human Capital, Unemployment, and Relative Wages in a Global Economy," NBER Working Papers 6133, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Jung, Hong-Sang & Thorbecke, Erik, 2003. "The impact of public education expenditure on human capital, growth, and poverty in Tanzania and Zambia: a general equilibrium approach," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 25(8), pages 701-725, November.
    4. Eric A. Hanushek, 1979. "Conceptual and Empirical Issues in the Estimation of Educational Production Functions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(3), pages 351-388.
    5. Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B., 2003. "Public education and income inequality," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 289-300, June.
    6. Ann L. Owen, 1999. "International Trade and the Accumulation of Human Capital," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 66(1), pages 61-81, July.
    7. Rosalind Levacic & Anna Vignoles, 2002. "Researching the Links between School Resources and Student Outcomes in the UK: A Review of Issues and Evidence," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(3), pages 313-331.
    8. Eicher, Theo S., 1999. "Trade, development and converging growth rates: Dynamic gains from trade reconsidered," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 179-198, June.
    9. Gerhard Glomm & B. Ravikumar, 1998. "Flat-Rate Taxes, Government Spending on Education, and Growth," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(1), pages 306-325, January.
    10. Stokey, Nancy L, 1996. "Free Trade, Factor Returns, and Factor Accumulation," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(4), pages 421-447, December.
    11. Flug, Karnit & Galor, Oded, 1986. "Minimum Wage in a General Equilibrium Model of International Trade and Human Capital," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(1), pages 149-164, February.
    12. Cartiglia, Filippo, 1997. "Credit constraints and human capital accumulation in the open economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1-2), pages 221-236, August.
    13. Ranjan, Priya, 2001. "Dynamic evolution of income distribution and credit-constrained human capital investment in open economies," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 329-358, December.
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    More about this item


    public education; trade liberalization; Heckscher–Ohlin;

    JEL classification:

    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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