OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers

The OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) leads OECD research on the contribution of science, technology and industry to well-being and economic growth. STI Working Papers cover a broad range of topics including definition and measurement of science and technology indicators, global value chains, and research on policies to promote innovation. These technical or analytical working papers are prepared by staff or outside consultants to share early insights and elicit feedback.


Having the right mix: The role of skill bundles for comparative advantage and industry performance in GVCs

This study investigates the role of countries’ skills endowment for comparative advantage. It tests the theoretical model of Ohnsorge and Trefler (2007) who argue that it is the bundling of various skills at the worker level and their joint distribution that matter for trade specialisation. This departs from the literature assuming that workers are endowed with only one type of skills, generally measured by educational attainment. The model’s predictions are tested using information on cognitive skills from the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) and Trade in Value Added (TiVA) data. Results show that workers' skills bundles and their distribution have larger effects on specialisation than countries’ endowment of capital per employee, or the relative endowment of workers possessing different levels of education. Furthermore, this study tests the model of Bombardini et al. (2012) and finds evidence that the within-country dispersion of skills significantly affects specialisation patterns.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error