DP83 Comparative Advantage in UK Manufacturing Trade, 1910-1935

Author(s): Nicholas Crafts, Stephen H Thomas
Publication Date: October 1985
Keyword(s): Comparative Advantage, Factor Endowments, Structural Change
JEL(s): 044, 421
Programme Areas: Human Resources
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=83

This paper uses a maintained hypothesis of comparative advantage based on relative factor endowments to investigate UK manufacturing trade prior to World War II. The results from several independent tests indicate that Britain exported goods intensive in the use of unskilled labour and had a comparative disadvantage in goods intensive in the use of human capital right up to the mid 1930s. This is consistent with the views of contemporaries but somewhat at odds with recent optimistic assessments of structural change in pre-war Britain.