University of Washington Tacoma
Geography of International Trade

(please send suggestions of useful links to me)

See the UW Libraries guide to resources for this course.

Examples of comparative advantage research

Batra, A. and Khan, Z.  2005.  Revealed comparative advantage: an analysis for India and China.  Working Paper 168.  New Delhi:  Indian Council for Research International Economic Relations.
This paper makes use of several international organizations' categorizations of economic sectors based on relative factor intensity.

Shirotori, M., Tumurchudur, B., and Cadot, O.  2010.  Revealed factor intensity indices at the product level.  Policy Issues in International Trade and Commodities Study Series, No. 44.  New York:  United Nations.
This paper creates indices for capital stock, human capital stock, and arable land ratios (to GDP) for 5 clusters of world countries (Section 2.2), and uses estimates of factor intensity of products (section 3.2).  The authors caution that estimating factor intensities for highly aggregated sectors (e.g., SITC 1-digit sectors) is problematic:
Factor intensities vary substantially not just between, but also within industries, and this pattern remains at all levels of disaggregation. For instance, an industry sector, SITC 65 (textile yarns, fabrics, made-up articles) covers a wide variety of goods whose factor contents vary from the least human/physical capital intensive to the most capital intensive (table 24b).  This suggests that analyses of the factor content of trade, whether motivated by the empirical validation of trade models or by policy advice, should best be carried out at high degrees of disaggregation [page 26].
Kowalski, P.   2011.  Comparative Advantage and Trade Performance: Policy Implications.  OECD Trade Policy
Papers No. 121.  OECD Publishing.
See pages 37-38 for graphical representation of the relative skilled-labor, unskilled-labor, capital, and energy intensities of economic sectors.

copyright James W. Harrington
revised 27 December 2013