Title: How persistent is industry specialisation over time in industrialised countries?

Authors: Edward N. Wolff

Addresses: Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, 269 Mercer Street, Room 700, New York University, New York, NY 10003,USA

Abstract: I use the 1994 OECD Structural Analysis database, which provides statistics on output for 33 manufacturing industries in 14 OECD countries over the period 1970 to 1993. I find that in 1970, these countries tended to specialise manufacturing production in very different industries and that most countries retained their specialisation between 1970 and 1993. I conclude that the general stability in industries of specialisation over time lends support to the increasing internal returns to scale models and tends to contradict the standard factor-price equalisation models. The results of this paper also suggest that increasing internal returns to scale and learning-by-doing may serve as a complement to patent protection and other forms of intellectual property rights.

Keywords: specialisation; comparative advantage; increasing internal returns to scale.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2000.002811

International Journal of Technology Management, 2000 Vol.19 No.1/2, pp.194-205

Available online: 07 Jul 2003 *

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