We exploit Japan's mid-nineteenth century transition from autarky to open trade to test Alan Deardorff's (1982) seminal and parsimonious autarky price formulation of the Heckscher-Ohlin theorem. Factor price data from Japan's late autarky period impose a refutable restriction on Japan's factor content of trade. Our data are constructed from many historical sources, including a major Japanese survey of agricultural techniques and a rich set of nineteenth century comparative cost studies. Evaluating Japan's factor content of trade during 1865-1876 under alternative theoretical assumptions about technology, we provide robust evidence in favor of the Heckscher-Ohlin hypothesis.
"Testing the General Validity of the Heckscher-Ohlin Theorem."
American Economic Journal: Microeconomics,
Empirical Studies of Trade
Economic History: Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment, and Extractive Industries: Asia including Middle East
Economic History: Transport, Trade, Energy, Technology, and Other Services: Asia including Middle East