NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Do Factor Endowments Matter for North-North Trade?

Donald R. Davis, David E. Weinstein

NBER Working Paper No. 8516
Issued in October 2001
NBER Program(s):   ITI

The dominant paradigm of world trade patterns posits two principal features. Trade between North and South arises due to traditional comparative advantage, largely determined by differences in endowment patterns. Trade within the North, much of it intra-industry trade, is based on economies of scale and product differentiation. The paradigm specifically denies an important role for endowment differences in determining North-North trade. This paper provides the first sound empirical examination of this question. We demonstrate that trade in factor services among countries of the North is systematically related to endowment differences and large in economic magnitude. Intra-industry trade, rather than being a puzzle for a factor endowments theory, is instead the conduit for a great deal of this factor service trade.

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Published: Marjit, Sugata and Eden Yu (eds.) Contemporary and Emerging Issues in Trade Theory and Policy. Elsevier, 2008.

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