In , Leontief conducted an empirical test of the H-O theory by applying his In other words, the country resorts to foreign trade in order to economise its. This result has come to be known as the Leontief Paradox. The HO theory generally explains the trade patterns during the post war periods, say РLeontief Paradox: Wassily Leontief: also is known for the “Leontief Paradox. In international trade: Factor endowments: the Heckscher-Ohlin theory.

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Had he considered U. Although the conclusion given by Leontief was in contradiction to the generalisation given by H-O theory, yet Leontief never attempted to supplant the factor proportions theory. Some explanations for the internationla dismiss the importance of comparative advantage as a determinant of trade.

Leontief himself suggested an explanation for his own paradox. Consumers develop a sweet tooth for labor-intensive goods as income increases.

They generally operate in the export sector and produce goods through highly capital-intensive techniques. According to him, the pattern of demand in the United States is such that it is compelled to import all such commodities that have a relatively higher capital-intensity. Thus, one can say that the above is a more general definition of factor abundance. However, some economists like H.

Enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll email you a lontief link. Leontief himself tried lontief puzzle out his own paradox by arguing that American labor is three times more productive than world labor as a result of a fervid entrepreneurship, an outstanding economic framework and a favorable environment with plenty of incentives Leontief, The evidence is, however, not conclusive one way or the other.

Swirling and Salvatore found an inherent bias in Leontief s work related to year Tarshis approached the whole problem indirectly by comparing the internal commodity prices in different countries.


There is no doubt that the productivity of labour is higher in the United States than in other countries. In reality, even if technology advances allowed a decline in costs, it seems erroneous to assume that they are zero.

A widely discussed study by Minhas recognised the validity of factor-intensity reversal but the studies made by Leontief himself in and Moroney found it to be quantitatively insignificant.

However, this claim of Leontief was not widely accepted. Larger agricultural exports from Canada, Australia and most of the less developed countries are land-intensive essentially because of an abundance of land. His critics maintained that the paradox could not be resolved in this manner. Vanek proved that natural resources and capital which is consistent with the fact that US imports are more natural resource intensive than exports Vaghefi et al Had trade been balanced inwould the US have exported capital-intensive goods and imported labor-intensive goods?

Leontief tested empirically this theory of international trade by using an input-output analysis. Travis emphasized that the tariff policies adopted by different trading countries often distorted the pattern and composition of traded commodities. In general, when trade is not balanced, a capital-abundant country may not export the capital-intensive goods.

The HO theory based on the assumption that trade is balanced. Such situations make it difficult to assess the validity or otherwise of H-O theorem. The study revealed that the price ratio of capital-intensive relative to labour- intensive goods was lower in the United States and higher in other countries.

There is little doubt that the United States is most well-endowed with human capital. JonesUniversity of Rochester argued that demand bias could be an explanation.

In his second study, Leontief aggregated industries into industries. Since it was not doubted that the U.


Leontief Paradox Theory (An Overview)

The technologies involved in producing several mineral products like oil and natural gas are highly capital-intensive.

It is more likely that human capital had existed in both industries.

S exports are more capital intensive relative to U. Thoery and Roskamp applied Leontief’s method to the trade pattern of East Germany. Perfect competition is a hypothetical market situation virtually impossible to generalize and Ricardo assumption that different technologies across countries are a source of comparative advantage seems more realistic.

These analyses show that presence of human capital can play an important role in determining trade patterns between coutries. Therefore, ,eontief bias would have reinforced the HO prediction that US would import the labor-intensive goods. Several interpretations were given to this conundrum.

Leontief Paradox

The idea is simple. Buchanan has criticized Leontief for having neglected the role of natural resources in the determination of trade pattern.

It may be important when comparing trade theoty between developing and developed economies e. The Leontief paradox was supported by the study made by M.

Masahiro Tatemoto and Shinich Ichimura Explanation: Another explanation to reconcile the H-O theory and Leontief paradox is in terms of the consumption pattern in the U. Retrieved from ” https: It has provided a good deal of insight into the foreign trade position of the U.

Therefore, one would expected the United States to export capital intensive goods and import labour intensive goods. The attempts were also made on empirical grounds to reconcile the Leontief analysis with the H-O theory.