Composition of Capital and Gains From Trade in Equipment

44 Pages Posted: 10 May 2018

See all articles by Piyusha Mutreja

Piyusha Mutreja

Syracuse University - Department of Economics

Date Written: September 12, 2017


Income differences across countries are enormous. In this paper, I quantify a novel channel through which countries gain from equipment trade: composition of capital. Over time, while the rich-poor gap in the aggregate capital-output ratio has been relatively stable, composition of capital has evolved considerably: the share of equipment has increased in rich countries and declined in many poor countries. Using a multi-country Ricardian trade model, I quantify the impact of the 1985-2005 fall in equipment trade barriers on capital composition and incomes. The decline in trade barriers accounts for approximately one-third of the changes in equipment capital shares and one-fourth of the income gains. Nearly one-half of the income gains are transmitted via the capital composition channel. Poor countries benefit predominantly through the capital composition channel, and rich countries gain mostly through increases in their total factor productivity.

Keywords: Equipment Capital, Structures Capital, Capital Composition, Equipment Trade, in- Come, Gains From Trade

JEL Classification: F43, F14, O16, O47, E22

Suggested Citation

Mutreja, Piyusha, Composition of Capital and Gains From Trade in Equipment (September 12, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Piyusha Mutreja (Contact Author)

Syracuse University - Department of Economics ( email )

110 Eggers Hall
Department of Economics
Syracuse, NY 13244
United States


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