Economics at your fingertips  

Revealed comparative advantage: What is it good for?

Scott French

Journal of International Economics, 2017, vol. 106, issue C, 83-103

Abstract: This paper applies a widely-used class of quantitative trade models to evaluate the usefulness of measures of revealed comparative advantage (RCA) in academic and policy analyses. I find that, while commonly-used indexes are generally not consistent with theoretical notions of comparative advantage, certain indexes can be usefully employed for certain tasks. I explore several common uses of RCA indexes and show that different indexes are appropriate when attempting to (a) uncover countries' fundamental patterns of comparative advantage, (b) evaluate the differential effect of changes in trade barriers across producers of different products, or (c) identify countries who are relatively close competitors in a given market.

Keywords: Relative productivity; Index; Ricardian; Trade barriers; Trade policy; Trade elasticity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F10 F13 F14 F15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (33) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
Working Paper: Revealed Comparative Advantage: What Is it Good For? (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: Revealed Comparative Advantage: What Is it Good For? (2014) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

DOI: 10.1016/j.jinteco.2017.02.002

Access Statistics for this article

Journal of International Economics is currently edited by Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier and Rodríguez-Clare, Andrés

More articles in Journal of International Economics from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Catherine Liu ().

Page updated 2024-02-12
Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:106:y:2017:i:c:p:83-103