hero working papers

Growth and Interdependence under Complete Specialization

Number: 183
Year: 2001
Author(s): Alejandro Cuat (IGIER and CEPR), and Marco Maffezzoli (Università Bocconi)

We construct and numerically solve a dynamic Heckscher-Ohlin model in which the initial distribution of production factors in the world makes world-wide factor price equalization impossible, and leads countries to group in two diversification cones. We study the dynamics of income components and factor prices. Our results suggest that the Ramsey model under complete specialization (CS) overcomes several shortcomings of its autarchy and factor-price-equalization (FPE) counterparts. In comparison with the autarchy model, it can account for important cross-sectional differences in income per capita growth rates without generating too large rental-rate differentials across countries. Furthermore, the CS model generates cross-country convergence in growth rates and levels along the transition towards the steady-state. Finally, the CS model converges to FPE in the long run. Unlike the autarchy model, FPE does not necessarily yield convergence in levels; however, international trade is beneficial to both countries in terms of welfare.