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Author:Harrigan, James 

Working Paper
Factor supplies and specialization in the world economy
A core prediction of the Heckscher-Ohlin theory is that countries specialize in goods in which they have a comparative advantage, and that the source of comparative advantage is differences in relative factor supplies. To examine this theory, we use the most extensive dataset available and document the pattern of industrial specialization and factor endowment differences in a broad sample of rich and developing countries over a lengthy period (1970-92). Next, we develop an empirical model of specialization based on factor endowments, allowing for unmeasurable technological differences and estimate it using panel data techniques. In addition to estimating the effects of factor endowments, we also consider an alternative hypothesis that the level of aggregate productivity by itself can explain specialization. Our results clearly show the importance of factor endowments on specialization: relative endowments do matter.
AUTHORS: Harrigan, James; Zakrajsek, Egon
DATE: 2000

Working Paper
Distance, time, and specialization
Time is money, and distance matters. We model the interaction of these truisms, and show the implications for global specialization and trade: products where timely delivery is important will be produced near the source of final demand, where wages will be higher as a result. In the model, timely delivery is important because it allows retailers to respond to fluctuating final demand without holding costly inventories, and timely delivery is only possible from nearby locations. Using a unique dataset that allows us to measure the retail demand for timely delivery, we show that the sources of US apparel imports have shifted in the way predicted by the model, with products where timeliness matters increasingly imported from nearby countries.
AUTHORS: Evans, Carolyn L.; Harrigan, James
DATE: 2003

Report
Technology, factor supplies, and international specialization: estimating the neoclassical model
The standard neoclassical model of trade theory predicts that international specialization will be jointly determined by cross-country differences in relative factor endowments and relative technology levels. This paper uses economic theory to specify an empirical model of specialization consistent with the neoclassical explanation. According to the empirical model, a sector's share in GDP depends on both relative factor supplies and relative technology differences, and the estimated parameters of the model have a close and clear connection to theoretical parameters. The model is estimated for manufacturing sectors using a twenty-year, ten-country panel of data on the industrialized countries. Relative technology levels and factor supplies are both found to be an important determinant of specialization.
AUTHORS: Harrigan, James
DATE: 1996

Report
Factor supplies and specialization in the world economy
A core prediction of the Heckscher-Ohlin theory is that countries specialize in goods in which they have a comparative advantage, and that the source of comparative advantage is differences in relative factor supplies. To examine this theory, we use the most extensive data set available and document the pattern of industrial specialization and factor endowment differences in a broad sample of rich and developing countries over a lengthy period (1970-92). Next, we develop an empirical model of specialization based on factor endowments, allowing for unmeasurable technological differences, and estimate it using panel data techniques. In addition to estimating the effects of factor endowments, we consider the alternative hypothesis that the level of aggregate productivity by itself can explain specialization. Our results clearly show the importance of factor endowments on specialization: relative endowments do matter.
AUTHORS: Harrigan, James; Zakrajsek, Egon
DATE: 2000

Report
Estimation of cross-country differences in industry production functions.
International trade economists typically assume that there are no cross-country differences in industry total factor productivity (TFP). In contrast, this paper finds large and persistent TFP differences across a group of industrialized countries in the 1980s. The paper calculates TFP indices, and statistically examines the sources of the observed large TFP differences across countries. Two hypotheses are examined to account for TFP differences: constant returns to scale production with country-specific technological differences, and industry-level scale economies with identical technology in each country. The data support the constant returns/different technology hypothesis over the increasing returns/same technology hypothesis.
AUTHORS: Harrigan, James
DATE: 1998-01-01

Report
International trade and American wages in general equilibrium, 1967-1995
In the last quarter century, wage inequality has increased dramatically in the United States. At the same time, the United States has become more integrated into the world economy, relative prices of final goods have changed, the capital stock has more than doubled, and the labor force has become steadily more educated. This paper estimates a flexible, empirical, general equilibrium model of wage determination in an attempt to sort out the connections between these trends. Aggregate data on prices and quantities of imports, outputs, and factor supplies are constructed from disaggregate sources. The econometric analysis concludes that wage inequality has been partly driven by changes in relative factor supplies and relative final goods prices. In contrast, imports have played a negligible direct role.
AUTHORS: Harrigan, James
DATE: 1998

Report
Cross-country comparisons of industry total factor productivity: theory and evidence
International trade economists typically assume that TFP for each industry is the same in every country. This paper casts doubt on this hypothesis, finding large and persistent TFP differences across countries. The paper considers measurement issues in depth, and a methodology for international TFP comparisons is described. This methodology is applied to a dataset on prices, inputs, and outputs for a group of industrialized countries in the 1980s. The paper finds that the United States was the TFP leader in machinery and equipment during the 1980s, with Japan slightly behind. These results are compared to the previous literature on disaggregated TFP comparisons.
AUTHORS: Harrigan, James
DATE: 1997

Report
U.S. wages in general equilibrium: the effects of prices, technology and factor supplies, 1963-1991
Wage inequality in the United States has increased in the past two decades, and most researchers suspect that the main causes are changes in technology, international competition, and factor supplies. The relative importance of these causes in explaining wage inequality is important for policy making and is controversial, partly because there has been no research which has directly estimated the joint impact of these different causes. In this paper, we view wages as arising out of a competitive general equilibrium where goods prices, technology and factor supplies jointly determine outputs and factor prices. We specify an empirical model which allows us to estimate the general equilibrium relationship between wages and technology, prices, and factor supplies. The model is based on the neoclassical theory of production, and is implemented by assuming that GDP is a function of prices, technology levels, and supplies of capital and different types of labor. We treat final goods prices as being partially determined in international markets, and we use data on trends in the international economy as instruments for U.S. prices. We find that relative factor supply and relative price changes are both important in explaining the growing return to skill. In particular, we find that capital accumulation and the fall in the price of traded goods served to increase the return to education.
AUTHORS: Balaban, Rita A.; Harrigan, James
DATE: 1999

Report
Specialization and the volume of trade: do the data obey the laws?
The core subjects of trade theory are the pattern and volume of trade: which goods are traded by which countries, and how much of those goods are traded. The first part of this paper discusses evidence on comparative advantage, with an emphasis on carefully connecting theoretical models with data analyses. The second part of the paper considers the theoretical foundations of the gravity model and reviews the small number of studies that have tried to test, rather than simply use, the implications of gravity. Both parts of the paper yield the same conclusion: we are still in the very early stages of empirically understanding specialization and the volume of trade, but the work that has been done can serve as a starting point for further research.
AUTHORS: Harrigan, James
DATE: 2001-11-01

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