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Research Activities

Research Projects

FY 2007/2008 Research Topic: 1-08
Economic Integration and Vertical Specialization in East Asia


Over the past several decades, the volume of world trade has grown rapidly. The increase in trading in intermediate goods has been cited as a possible factor explaining world trade growth. Intermediate trade rises when multinational firms start to fragment their production processes geographically. Since the 1990s, new trade theory has been utilized in order to explain this phenomenon.

East Asia has deepened its industrial linkages since the 1980s. Tariffs on intermediate goods trading have been reduced and international barriers among countries are now being lowered. Consequently, multinational firms have begun to locate different stages of production in neighboring countries, utilizing the characteristics of each country.

In this research project, we will empirically examine how trade costs, wage inequality, and differences of factor intensity affect vertical specialization and economic integration.



Members of the Research Project

KEOLA Souknilanh
OZEKI Hiromichi
KIMURA Fukunari (Professor of Economics, Keio University)
YOKOTA Kazuhiko (Research Associate Professor, International Center for the Study of East Asian Development)