1887

OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

English, French

Long-term Patterns of Trade and Specialisation

This paper presents descriptive evidence of specialisation trends and investigates empirically their causes and consequences, analysing the role of policies in this process. Then, based on the insights from the backward looking analysis, it draws global trade and specialisation scenarios up to 2060, taking into account international spillovers. The paper highlights that comparative advantage in terms of factor endowments matters for trade specialisation, although framework and trade policies also play a role. For instance, tariffs on intermediate inputs are found to adversely affect trade with this adverse effect found to have increased over time, likely reflecting expanding global supply chains magnifying the impact of tariffs. The forward-looking analysis suggests that over the next 50 years, the geographical centre of trade will continue to shift from OECD to non-OECD regions, reflecting faster growth in these countries. Multilateral global trade liberalisation could raise world trade by 15% by 2060 relative to the status quo, whereas regional liberalisation among a core group of OECD countries only would raise world trade by 4% due to trade diversion.

English

Keywords: intermediate input tariffs, global value chains, trade policy, long-term trade and specialisation patterns, trade liberalisation
JEL: F60: International Economics / Economic Impacts of Globalization / Economic Impacts of Globalization: General; F14: International Economics / Trade / Empirical Studies of Trade; F13: International Economics / Trade / Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations; F17: International Economics / Trade / Trade: Forecasting and Simulation; F43: International Economics / Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance / Economic Growth of Open Economies
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