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Revealed Factor Intensity of Products: Insights from a New Database
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UNCTAD Research Paper No. 16

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Cadot, Shirotori et Tumurchudur (2010) developed a time-series database of a revealed factor intensity (RFI) indicators for over 5,000 products, classified at the 6-digit level of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS).

Based on the idea that “a product exported predominantly by countries that are richly endowed with human capital is “revealed” to be intensive in human capital”), the RFI indicators of a product are estimated as a trade-weighted average of the factor endowments of countries that export the given product.

With the release of the Penn World Table (PWT) version 9.0 in 2017, UNCTAD has updated the RFI indicators to cover the period from 1988 up to 2014, and made them available on the UNCTADStats for download.

This paper provides descriptive statistics of the updated database of the RFI indicators of products classified at the HS 6-digit level, and the factor endowments consisting of physical capital, human capital and arable land.

The RFI indicators and the endowment database can contribute to research in a wide array of topics such as export diversification patterns, export survival of firms, and natural-resource curse.

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