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 – Leontief Paradox: Wassily Leontief: also is known for the “Leontief Paradox. In international trade: Factor endowments: the Heckscher-Ohlin theory.

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Unless the industry classification used is such that it does not allow for both exports and imports substitutes to be grouped together, the validity of the Hecksher-Ohlin theorem precludes the possibility of factor proportions being homogenous in the manner assumed by Leontief. S foreign trade and its factor content. The paradox was attacked by Valvaris-Vail on the ground that it was based on the input-output table showing the fixed input-output co-efficients.

In reality, even if technology advances allowed a decline in costs, it seems erroneous to assume that they are zero.

Leontief Paradox Theory (An Overview)

This difference in wage reflects the existence of human capital. Leontief himself tried to bring about reconciliation between his paradox and H-O theory through the argument that the United States, though a labour-scarce country in strictly quantitative or conventional terms, is actually a labour-abundant country. This leonntief was last edited on 9 Novemberat That is, the US may export 1 and 3 and import 2.

This would reverse the LP. However, the inclusion of human capital could eliminate the interrnational. The discussion of the Leontief paradox has hardly been able to establish firm conclusions. 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.

Brown revealed that the consumption or demand pattern in the United States did not appear to be biased in favour of capital- intensive goods. The capital-abundant country United States, on the basis of the above logic, may import capital-intensive goods from abroad, if its income level rises and if the income elasticity of demand for such goods in that country is high.


S capital endowment, would be mainly capital.

Learner expressed the view that Leontief paradox would fail when the country had trade imbalance. No reliable estimates of capital stock. InLeontief found that the United States —the most capital-abundant country in the world—exported commodities that were more labor -intensive than capital-intensive, contrary to H-O theory. Had he done so and compared, for instance, the factor intensities in American export industries with those of Japan or Western Europe, he might well have found that American exports were capital intensive compared to Japan or Western Europe exports.

Factually, these assumptions do not hold good. Doctrine of Comparative Advantage. According to Buchanan, Leontief made use of investment requirement co-efficient as the capital co-efficients. Although capital is relatively abundant in the United States, yet it may be less effective because that country is relatively under-supplied with natural resources and it may not be able to make full use of its capital.

Leontief Paradox | political economics |

If trade is not balanced, the HO theory cannot predict the trade pattern. Then apply the HO theory.

Leontief should have seen whether or not goods imported into America were capital or labour intensive in the country of origin.

Inthe Russian economist Wassily Paradx, at that time affiliated with Harvard University published a paper containing the most notable empirical contradiction with the HOV theory. Per capita consumption of chocolates is less than 5 pounds in the United States.

In brief, capital-abundant countries export labour- intensive goods and labour-abundant countries export capital-intensive goods. If there had been a consumption bias in the US inthe bias leomtief have been toward increased consumption of the labor-intensive goods.

It suggested that the exports of United States, generally recognised as the capital-abundant country, were labour-intensive.

Similarly, a labour-abundant country may export capital-intensive goods, if the income elasticity of demand for such goods is high in that country. Linear B tablet Omniglot with syllabaries, partly deciphered, similar to hiragana. Continuing with the last argument, we can also bring in the fact that US agriculture is a highly land- and capital-intensive activity.


Leontief tested empirically this theory of international trade by using an input-output tradw. Larger agricultural exports from Canada, Australia and most of the less developed countries are land-intensive essentially because of an abundance of land.

Leontief himself explained the contradiction by reference to measures of labour supply. He had emphasized only upon the physical capital such as machinery, equipment, theort etc. The capital-labour ratio was higher in the import- replacement industries than the export industries. Trde Leontief made his study, most competitive imports considered of crude oil, paper pulp, primary copper and lead, and metallic ores.

Using this definition, the exports of the United States are very human capital-intensive, and not particularly intensive in unskilled labor. Capital and natural resources are complementary in many fields of production. However, this claim of Leontief was not widely accepted. Casas and Choi computed the trade pattern that would have prevailed had trade been balanced in 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.

This result has come to be known as the Leontief Paradox. The human capital was overlooked completely. Trade,” Indian Economic JournalOctober Vanek’s explanation is not empirically convincing. A study made by Kravis showed that the labour-intensive industries were most heavily protected in the United States.

By importing such products, the United States actually conserves her scarce natural resources. They hoped to lay a more scientific foundation for factor endowment theory by their research.