Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1599412
 
 

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Structural Change in OECD Comparative Advantage


Steven Brakman


University of Groningen - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Robert Inklaar


University of Groningen - Department of Economics

Charles Van Marrewijk


Utrecht University - Utrecht University School of Economics

April 2010

CESifo Working Paper Series No. 3033

Abstract:     
In the post-war period, the goods composition of trade in OECD countries has changed considerably. We analyze the evolution of comparative advantage using a detailed trade data set and a new analytical tool: the harmonic (weighted) mass index, which enables us to identify periods of structural change. We then analyze which forces may be responsible for the main structural changes, which primarily took place in many OECD countries in the mid 1980s. We argue that neither the rise of China and India nor the deregulation programs in many OECD countries is likely to have been the main cause. Instead, the interaction between the real and monetary economy (possibly fuelled by nominal rigidities and delays in exchange rate pass through) as measured by the large swing in the real effective exchange rate of the dollar in the 1980s is our primary candidate. In view of similar recent large swings, we argue it is likely that the OECD countries will again go through substantial structural adjustments in the near future.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 53

Keywords: Balassa-index, structural change, comparative advantage

JEL Classification: F14, O50

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Date posted: May 4, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Brakman, Steven and Inklaar, Robert and van Marrewijk, Charles, Structural Change in OECD Comparative Advantage (April 2010). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 3033. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1599412

Contact Information

Steven Brakman (Contact Author)
University of Groningen - Department of Economics ( email )
P.O. Box 800
9700 AV Groningen
Netherlands
+31 50 363 3746 (Phone)
+31 50 363 3730 (Fax)
CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)
Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany
Robert Inklaar
University of Groningen - Department of Economics ( email )
P.O. Box 800
9700 AV Groningen
Netherlands
Charles Van Marrewijk
Utrecht University - Utrecht University School of Economics ( email )
Kriekenpitplein 21-22
Adam Smith Building
Utrecht, 3584 EC
Netherlands
*31-(0)30-2539810 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.charlesvanmarrewijk.nl
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