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DETERMINANTS OF TRADE AND SPECIALIZATION IN THE ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT COUNTRIES

Authors

  • SERGE SHIKHER

    1. Shikher: Department of Economics, Suffolk University, 8 Ashburton Place, Boston, MA 02108. Phone +1 617-994-4275, Fax +1 617-994-4216, E-mail serge.shikher@suffolk.edu
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    • The author would like to thank Jonathan Eaton, Jonathan Haughton, and two anonymous referees for helpful comments and suggestions.


Abstract

This paper empirically investigates the relative importance of productivity, factor endowments, trade costs, and tastes in determining the current pattern of trade and specialization. The results show that productivity and taste differences are the first and second most significant determinants of trade and specialization. Factor endowments are the least influential for the average country in the data set, but their effects are much greater in the poorer than richer countries. The results also show the substantial role of trade costs, which is amplified through interactions with other determinants of trade. Trade costs affect the relative costs of intermediate inputs and final goods, link preferences with specialization, and reduce the geographical range of comparative advantages. (JEL F1, F10)

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