Explaining United States International Trade, 1870-1910
Hutchinson, William K.
Wright (1990) presents evidence on the factor content of trade that indicates the United States tended to export goods that were raw materials intensive. Using factor per unit of output ratios derived from the United States Census of Manu-factures, we are able to supplement Wright's findings for the period 1870 to 1910, a period in which his results were not as conclusive as were his results for later periods. In addition to the female and child labor content of trade during this pe-riod, the Census data also allow us to examine a measure of the human capital con-tent of trade during the period 1870 to 1910. Net exports tended to be capital in-tensive relative to labor and materials. However, a complementary relationship existed between capital and materials relative to labor which resulted in a positive relationship between labor value per unit of output and net exports.