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Revealed Factor Intensity Indices at the Product Level


  • Miho Shirotori
  • Bolormaa Tumurchudur
  • Olivier Cadot


This paper describes a data-intensive methodology to generate indices that indicate “revealed” factor intensity of traded goods, at the most disaggregated level of product classification (SITC 5-digit or HS 6-digit). We construct the indices by calculating, for each good, a weighted average of the factor abundance of the countries that export this good, where the weights are variants of Balassa’s Revealed Comparative Advantage index. In doing so, we take advantage of recent improvements in the availability of data on aggregate national endowments of primary factors (capital, education and labour force) using, inter alia, Summer and Heston’s PWT (version 6.2), Barro-Lee’s latest database, the World Bank and COMTRADE databases. The resulting indices are available on the UNCTAD website.

Suggested Citation

  • Miho Shirotori & Bolormaa Tumurchudur & Olivier Cadot, 2010. "Revealed Factor Intensity Indices at the Product Level," UNCTAD Blue Series Papers 44, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
  • Handle: RePEc:unc:blupap:44

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kym Anderson, 2009. "Distorted Agricultural Incentives and Economic Development: Asia's Experience," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(3), pages 351-384, March.
    2. Easterly, William & Kremer, Michael & Pritchett, Lant & Summers, Lawrence H., 1993. "Good policy or good luck?: Country growth performance and temporary shocks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 459-483, December.
    3. Mikael Lindahl & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Education for Growth: Why and for Whom?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1101-1136, December.
    4. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 1993. "International comparisons of educational attainment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 363-394, December.
    5. 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 541-563, July.
    6. Larson, David F. & Butzer, Rita & Mundlak, Yair & Crego, Al, 2000. "A Cross-Country Database for Sector Investment and Capital," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(2), pages 371-391, May.
    7. Hausmann, Ricardo & Klinger, Bailey, 2006. "Structural Transformation and Patterns of Comparative Advantage in the Product Space," Working Paper Series rwp06-041, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    8. Kyriacou, George A., 1991. "Level and Growth Effects of Human Capital: A Cross-Country Study of the Convergence Hypothesis," Working Papers 91-26, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bahar, Dany & Hausmann, Ricardo & Hidalgo, Cesar A., 2014. "Neighbors and the evolution of the comparative advantage of nations: Evidence of international knowledge diffusion?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 111-123.
    2. Lectard, Pauline & Rougier, Eric, 2018. "Can Developing Countries Gain from Defying Comparative Advantage? Distance to Comparative Advantage, Export Diversification and Sophistication, and the Dynamics of Specialization," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 90-110.
    3. Elizabeth Ruppert Bulmer & Claire H. Hollweg, 2016. "The Labor Impact of Lao Export Growth," World Bank Other Operational Studies 24020, The World Bank.
    4. Parteka, Aleksandra & Tamberi, Massimo, 2013. "Product diversification, relative specialisation and economic development: Import–export analysis," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 38(PA), pages 121-135.
    5. Vilas Pathikonda & Thomas Farole, 2015. "A Capability-Based Assessment of GVC Competitiveness for the SACU Region," World Bank Other Operational Studies 23819, The World Bank.
    6. Alessandro Nicita & Miho Shirotori & Bolormaa Tumurchudur Klok, 2013. "Survival Analysis Of The Exports Of Least Developed Countries: The Role Of Comparative Advantage," UNCTAD Blue Series Papers 54, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
    7. Regolo, Julie, 2013. "Export diversification: How much does the choice of the trading partner matter?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 329-342.
    8. Gnidchenko, A., 2016. "Import Substitution in Russian Industry: Current Situation and Prospects," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 154-161.
    9. Maggioni, Daniela & Lo Turco, Alessia & Gallegati, Mauro, 2016. "Does product complexity matter for firms' output volatility?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 94-109.

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