Changing patterns in comparative advantage for agricultural trade in East Asian countries
Purpose – Economies in East Asia are at different development stages. Economic development has an impact on factor endowments and the intensities, then on the mode of agricultural trade. To examine the trade modes of these seven East Asian countries' agricultural products will give us some hints to understand the question how economic development impacts the changing patterns in comparative advantage (CA) of agricultural products. Therefore, this paper aims to test the question by using a four-quadrant method. Design/methodology/approach – Trade specialization coefficient is used to analyze the agricultural CA among aggregated agricultural products and two typical kinds of products: labor- and land-intensive agricultural products. Then a four-quadrant method is applied in this study, where trade specialization of agricultural products consists of 2D: labor-intensive and land-intensive. The study intends to test the changing routes of CA of agricultural products under the background of economic development and changing situation of factor endowments. Findings – The analysis result supports that economic development has impact on the trade mode of agricultural products. Originality/value – The four-quadrant method is firstly applied to analyze the changing pattern of agricultural products in East Asian countries. This study shows that the changing routes of CA of agricultural products will not limit to only one mode as found by current studies.
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