Skip to Content

UNU-WIDER Comparative Advantage Patterns and Domestic Determinants in Emerging Countries: An Analysis with a Focus on Technology

Support functions

A teenager wears torn rubber boots in a muddy local market in Bac Ha, Viet Nam. As of 2005 figures, half the world population—more than 3 billion people–is estimated to live on less than USD 2.50 a day. Bac Ha, Viet Nam. UN Photo/Kibae Park.

Table of contents

Comparative Advantage Patterns and Domestic Determinants in Emerging Countries: An Analysis with a Focus on Technology

During the last two decades a number of emerging economies have become deeply engaged in technology-intensive production. This has been reflected in their international trade specialization shifting from labour-intensive goods towards capital-intensive ones, and in rapid productivity gains across all manufacturing activities. The paper investigates for a sample of sixteen emerging countries, the linkages between the pattern of revealed comparative advantages (RCAs), captured by a modified version of the Lafay index of international trade specialization, and the competitiveness structure of the domestic manufacturing sector, measured by a set of industry and country-specific variables. Positive and large RCAs are found to be associated with low unit labour costs in both low-technology (high labour-intensive) and medium- or high tech sectors. On the other hand, domestic accumulation of physical capital is associated with positive and large RCAs in medium- or high technology sectors. The international disadvantage (negative RCAs) in technology-intensive production tends to deepen for countries with low human capital, whereas it diminishes for countries with large domestic markets importing technology through foreign capital goods.
Publisher:
UNU-WIDER
Series:
WIDER Research Paper
Volume:
2008/81
Title:
Comparative Advantage Patterns and Domestic Determinants in Emerging Countries: An Analysis with a Focus on Technology
Authors:
Daniela Marconi and Valeria Rolli
Publication date:
September 2008
ISSN Web:
1810-2611
ISBN 13 Web:
9789292301354
Copyright holder:
© UNU-WIDER
Copyright year:
2008
Keywords:
revealed comparative advantages, technological up-grading
JEL:
F14, O10
Project:
Southern Engines of Global Growth
Sponsor:
The governments of Denmark (Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Finland (Ministry for Foreign Affairs), Norway (Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Sweden (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency-Sida) and the United Kingdom (Department for International Development).
Format:
online

^ Back to top