Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 13 No. 2 (Spring 1999)


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The Structure of Foreign Trade

Article Citation

Helpman, Elhanan. 1999. "The Structure of Foreign Trade." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 13(2): 121-144.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.13.2.121


During the last two decades, new research has greatly advanced the understanding of the structure of world trade. While research in the 1960s and 1970s provided mostly theoretical insights, major empirical innovations concerning the study of factor content of net trade flows appeared in the 1980s. Important improvements in this line of research were added in the 1990s. The author also discusses the literature that emphasizes economies of scale and product differentiation. This work was done mostly in the 1980s and 1990s, yielding important theoretical and empirical findings. An emphasis on the interplay between theoretical and empirical research characterizes the entire presentation.

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Helpman, Elhanan (Harvard U, Tel Aviv U, and Canadian Inst for Advanced Res, Toronto)

JEL Classifications

F10: Trade: General


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