Trade-driven divergence

“…The expansion of international trade has enhanced the specialisation of industrial economies in the production of industrial, skilled intensive, goods. The associated rise in the demand for skilled labour has induced a gradual investment in the quality of the population, expediting a demographic transition, stimulating technological progress and further enhancing the comparative advantage of these industrial economies in the production of skilled intensive goods. In non-industrial economies, in contrast, international trade has generated an incentive to specialise in the production of unskilled intensive, non-industrial, goods. The absence of significant demand for human capital has provided limited incentives to invest in the quality of the population and the gains from trade have been utilised primarily for a further increase in the size of the population, rather than the income of the existing population…”

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