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Regional and Sectoral Patterns and Determinants of Comparative Advantage in China

W. Charles Sawyer, Kiril Tochkov () and Wenting Yu ()
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Wenting Yu: Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA

Frontiers of Economics in China, 2017, vol. 12, issue 1, 7-36

Abstract: China¡¯s export performance is marked by large regional disparities which affect trade patterns at the national level. This paper uses data from input-output tables to estimate the comparative advantage of Chinese provinces in the three main economic sectors over the period 1992¨C2007. In contrast to existing studies, we include the services sector in the analysis and construct not only indices of revealed comparative advantage for overall trade, but also bilateral indices for interprovincial trade. The results indicate that West and Central China have a comparative advantage in agriculture/mining, coastal provinces in manufacturing, and metropolitan provinces in services. However, interprovincial trade exhibits a more complex pattern. Regression analysis identifies labor endowments as the key determinant of comparative advantage in total trade, while physical capital is the driving force in domestic trade. Human capital and government spending have a positive effect, whereas industrial loans and taxes, along with provincial trade barriers, impair comparative advantage.

Keywords: comparative advantage; trade; sectors; regional disparities; China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F14 O14 R15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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http://journal.hep.com.cn/fec/EN/10.3868/s060-006-017-0002-6 (application/pdf)

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