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H-1B Visa A nonimmigrant visa designed for U.S. employers to employ foreign nationals in specialty occupations for a specified time period.
Haberler Report A report prepared by a panel of experts at the request of the GATT contracting parties. One conclusion was that countries producing primary products were at a disadvantage under prevailing rules. [Source]
Habsburg Empire A region of central Europe that was ruled by a succession of royalty from the 13th century until its demise in 1918. In the years prior to World War I, it was said to be "the largest free-trade zone in Europe" as it was an empire-wide customs union. [Source]
Haigui See sea turtle.
Haircut The loss of asset value for a creditor when a debtor defaults and then renegotiates downward the value of the loan. Sizable haircuts have been often been experienced by international lenders as the result of debt and financial crises.
Halala Subunit of the riyal.
Handicraft method An approach to quantifying the price effects of a nontariff measure by comparing the prices of goods that are affected by the NTM with prices of goods that are not affected. The term was coined by Ferrantino (2006).
Handmaiden of growth The metaphor proposed by Kravis (1970) as more accurate than engine of growth to capture the role that trade plays in facilitating economic growth, which he argued was due mainly to "internal factors" with trade providing only an "added stimulus."
Hansa See New Hanseatic League
Hanseatic League 1. An organization of cities and towns, mostly in the north of today's Germany near the North and Baltic Seas, that cooperated to protect their mutual trading interests from the 13th to the 15th centuries.
2. New Hanseatic League
Happiness Report World Happiness Report.
Harberger-Laursen-Metzler effect The conjecture or result that a terms of trade deterioration will cause a decrease in savings due to the decrease in real income, and therefore that a real depreciation will cause an increase in real expenditure. Due to Harberger (1950) and Laursen and Metzler (1950).
Harberger triangle The triangular area, or areas, in a supply and demand diagram that measures the net welfare loss -- deadweight loss or excess burden -- due to a market distortion or policy, such as a tax or tariff. [Origin]
Hard border In the context of Brexit, this refers to the possible re-establishment of customs and immigration checks at the border between Ireland (part of the EU) and Northern Ireland (part of the U.K. and intended to be no longer part of the EU after Brexit).
Hard Brexit The most extreme version of Brexit, in which the UK would divorce from all features of the European Union.
Hard currency A currency that is widely accepted around the world, usually because it is the currency of a country with a large and stable market. Examples today include the U.S. dollar and the euro. Contrasts with a soft currency.
Hard peg A pegged exchange rate with a credible commitment never to change the par value, thus subordinating monetary policy to the needs of the exchange market and denying access to devaluation as a policy tool. In practice, a hard peg may be achieved only with a currency board or equivalent.
Harkin bill The Child Labor Deterrence Act, introduced into the US Senate by Iowa Senator Tom Harkin several times from 1992 through 1999 but never passed into law.
Harmful externality Negative externality.
Harmonization 1. The changing of government regulations and practices, as a result of an international agreement, to make those of different countries the same or more compatible.
2. In the case of tariffs, this means making tariff rates more similar across industries and/or across countries.
Harmonized System An international system for classifying goods in international trade and for specifying the tariffs on those goods. It was adopted at the beginning of 1989, replacing the previously used schedules in over 50 countries, including the Brussels Tariff Nomenclature.
Harrod-Balassa-Samuelson effect The Balassa-Samuelson Effect.
Harrod neutral A particular specification of technological change or technological difference that is labor augmenting.
Hat algebra 1. The Jones (1965) technique for comparative static analysis in trade models. Totally differentiating a model in logarithms of variables yields a linear system relating small proportional changes (denoted by carats (^), or "hats") via elasticities and shares. (As published it used *, not ^, due to typographical constraints.) This name was used first in print by Brecher and Feenstra (1983).
2. More recently, Dekle et al. 2007 used the same notation for comparison of two equilibria that need not be close enough to be captured by differential calculus. Letting x and x' be values of a variable in two equilibria, then = x'/x. Costinot and Rodgiguez Clare (2013) called this the exact hat algebra.
Havana Charter The charter for the never-implemented International Trade Organization. The draft was completed at a conference in Havana, Cuba, in 1948.
Haven asset An asset viewed as safe, with value less likely to fall than other assets. In uncertain times, owners shift to safer assets, such as government bonds and assets denominated in currencies thought unlikely to depreciate, such as the US dollar.
Hawley-Smoot Tariff The Smoot-Hawley Tariff. "Smoot-Hawley" is the more common name, due to Smoot's closer association with the legislation, even though, as noted by Irwin (2017 p. 878), this departs from standard convention of naming first the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee.
HDI Human Development Index
Head-Ries index An inverse measure of trade costs between two countries, i, j, defined as [XijXji/XiiXjj]1/2, where Xij is exports from i to j and Xii is sales by country i to itself. Used by Head and Ries (2001) and named by Eaton et al. (2011).
Headcount index A common measure of poverty, defined as the percentage of the population living below the poverty line.
Heading See HS heading and tariff heading.
Headline inflation The rate of inflation that attempts to include everything that contributes to the cost of living. Contrasts with core inflation, which excludes prices of food and energy.
Headquarters services The activities of a firm that typically occur at its main location and that contribute in a broad sense to its productivity at all of its locations and plants. These may include management, accounting, marketing, and R&D.
Heavily indebted poor countries The name given to those poor countries with large debts, HIPC, the target of initiatives to forgive that debt as a means of assisting development.
Heckscher-Ohlin Core Propositions See core propositions.
Heckscher-Ohlin Model A model of international trade in which comparative advantage derives from differences in relative factor endowments across countries and differences in relative factor intensities across industries. Sometimes refers only to the textbook or 2x2x2 model, but more generally includes models with any numbers of factors, goods, and countries. Model was originally formulated by Heckscher (1919), fleshed out by Ohlin (1933), and refined by Samuelson (1948, 1949, 1953).
Heckscher-Ohlin Theorem The proposition of the Heckscher-Ohlin Model that countries will have comparative advantage in, and therefore export, the goods that use relatively intensively their relatively abundant factors.
Heckscher-Ohlin-Samuelson Model Usually synonymous with the Heckscher-Ohlin Model, although sometimes the term is used to distinguish the more formalized, mathematical version that Samuelson developed from the more general but less well-defined conceptual treatment of Heckscher and Ohlin.
Heckscher-Ohlin-Vanek Model The Heckscher-Ohlin Model for the case of identical techniques of production (due either to FPE or Leontief technologies), used to derive the strong prediction about the factor content of trade known as the Heckscher-Ohlin-Vanek Theorem.
Heckscher-Ohlin-Vanek Theorem The prediction of the H-O-V Model that a country's net factor content of trade equals its own factor endowment minus its world-expenditure share of the world factor endowment. That is, for country i, Fi = Vi – siVW, where Fi is the factor content of its trade, Vi,VW its and the world's factor endowments, and si its share of world expenditure. Due to Vanek (1968).
Hedge To offset risk. In the foreign exchange market, hedgers use the forward market to cover a transaction or open position and thereby reduce exchange risk. The term applies most commonly to trade.
Hedonic pricing The use of statistical techniques such as regression analysis to determine, from the prices of goods with different measurable characteristics, the prices that are associated with those characteristics. The latter can then be used to construct what the comparable price of a good would be from its characteristics.
Hegemonic stability theory This is the idea stated by Kindleberger (1973) who said that maintenance of free trade requires a "benevolent despot" to provide the lead in reducing tariffs. The idea was then extended to a system of international cooperation more generally.
Helicopter money Literally, a policy of expanding the money supply by dropping currency from a helicopter, as imagined by Friedman (1969). The term is now used to mean any policy of expanding the money supply by giving money to the public in return for nothing and has sometimes been suggested as a good idea.
Helms-Burton Act A United States law enacted in 1996 that penalized companies for doing business in Cuba. Since the law applied to non-U.S. companies as well as U.S. companies, other governments objected.
Henley & Partners A firm formed in 1997 to advise individuals on "residence and citizenship planning."
Henley Passport Index A "ranking of all the world's passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa."
Herfindahl-Hirschman index A standard measure of industry concentration, defined as the sum of the squares of the market shares (in fractions) of the firms in the industry. Also called the Herfindahl index. Due to Herfindahl (1950) and Hirschman (1945), but see [Origin].
Heritage Foundation A non-governmental organization whose mission is "to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense." It produces the Economic Freedom Index.
Heterogeneous Not all the same. Not homogeneous.
Heterogeneous firm model An economic model in which firms in an industry are not all the same, as for example a Melitz model.
HFCs Hydroflourocarbons
HHI The Herfindahl-Hirschman index.
HIC High Income Country
Hicks-Kaldor improvement Potential Pareto improvement
Hicks neutral Said of a technological change or technological difference if production functions differ by scaling of output only: F2(V)=λF1(V), where F1(·) and F2(·) are the production functions being compared, V is a vector of factor inputs, and λ>0 is a constant.
Hicksian composite unit-value isoquant For given constant-returns-to-scale technologies for two or more goods and given prices of those goods, this is the convex hull of the unit value isoquants of those goods. It thus represents the most efficient ways of allocating factors so as to produce one unit of value by producing one or more of the goods.
Hicksian demand The demand function with arguments that include the level of utility, in contrast to Marshallian demand which holds income constant instead of utility. Also called compensated demand.
Hicksian surplus See Marshallian surplus.
High beta economy An economy that is volatile, usually in terms of movements in its GDP and usually because of high exposure to international markets through international trade and/or capital flows.
High dimension In trade theory, this refers to having more than two goods, factors, and/or countries, or to having arbitrary numbers of these. Contrasts with the two-ness of the 2x2x2 Model.
High Income Country The top income group in the World Bank's classification of countries by GNI per capita, calculated by the Atlas Method. As of February 2024, these were countries with incomes of $13,845 or more in 2023. Other groups are Low Income Countries and Middle Income Countries.
High powered money Same as monetary base, in the sense of currency plus commercial bank reserves. Called "high powered" because an additional unit added by the central bank causes the money supply to increase by more than one unit.
High technology This is a vague term referring to products and industries that arise from new technologies such as electronics, genetic engineering, nanotechnology, etc. The (questionable) presumption often is that specialization in these industries generates greater economic welfare than more traditional industries.
High value-added Like high technology, this too is vague. Taken literally as an industry with a high proportion of value added, it would simply mean little use of intermediate inputs, and thus vertically integrated. But as used, that is surely not meant. It seems to mean a high ratio of price to labor input, thus supporting high wages and/or profits.
HIPC Heavily indebted poor countries.
HIPC Initiative A program launched in 1996 by the IMF and World Bank to reduce the debt burdens of heavily indebted poor countries.
Hirschman index An index of concentration of exports and/or imports, due to Hirschman (1945). Letting xi be a country's trade of product i and xxi its total trade, the index is H=sqrt[Σ(xi/x)2]. [Origin]
HKMA Hong Kong Monetary Authority
HM Customs The customs service of England, then Great Britain, than the United Kingdom: His/Her Majesty's Customs.
H-O Model Heckscher-Ohlin Model.
Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act An act of the US Congress from December 2020 that "requires certain issuers of securities to establish that they are not owned or controlled by a foreign government." Though stated for foreign governments in general, provisions explicitly mention the Chinese Communist Party. Penalty is that "issuer's securities are banned from trade on a national exchange or through other methods." [Source]
Holdup problem In a potential mutually beneficial agreement, this is the disincentive for one party to invest, due to chance the other party will extract benefits, after investment, hurting the first. Problem arises in many contexts, including international trade that requires an exporter to bear an initial fixed cost.
Hollowing out The shrinking of the manufacturing sector that has sometimes been thought to result from international trade or offshoring.
Holy Trinity 1. Any grouping of three very desirable things.
2. In international finance, it has sometimes been viewed as the same as the Impossible Trinity. [Origin]
Home bias in equities A tendency for wealth holders to hold a disproportional part of their wealth in assets of their own country, rather than diversifying across assets of many countries as theory would predict. Called by Obstfeld and Rogoff (2001) The Puzzle of Home Bias in Equity Portfolios.
Home bias in trade 1. A preference, by consumers or other demanders, for products produced in their own country compared to otherwise identical imports. This was proposed by Trefler (1995) as a possible explanation for the mystery of the missing trade.
2. Evidence that international goods markets are more segmented than might be expected was found in the border puzzle by McCallum (1995) and called The Puzzle of Home Bias in Trade by Obstfeld and Rogoff (2001).
Home market effect The tendency in industries with increasing returns to scale for large countries to be net exporters. Due to Krugman (1980). [Origin]
Homogeneous 1. Having the property that all constituent elements are the same, as a homogeneous good. Contrasts with heterogeneous.
2. Possessing a certain form of uniformity, as a homogeneous function.
Homogeneous function A function with the property that scaling all arguments by a constant changes the value by a monotonic function of that constant: FV)=g(λ)F(V), where F(·) is the homogeneous function, V is a vector of arguments, λ>0 is any constant, and g(·) is strictly increasing and positive. Cases: homogeneous of degree N and linearly homogeneous.
Homogeneous good A good all units of which are the same; a homogeneous product.
Homogeneous of degree 1 The same as linearly homogeneous and, for a production function, constant returns to scale. See homogeneous of degree N.
Homogeneous of degree N A homogeneous function where the monotonic function is the constant raised to the exponent N: FV)=λNF(V). For N>1, see increasing returns to scale; for N<1, see decreasing returns to scale.
Homogeneous of degree zero The property of a function that, if you scale all arguments by the same proportion, the value of the function does not change. See homogeneous of degree N. In the H-O Model, CRTS production functions imply that marginal products have this property, which is critical for FPE.
Homogeneous product The product of an industry in which the outputs of different firms and/or countries are indistinguishable. Contrasts with differentiated product.
Homohypallagic Having a constant elasticity of substitution. One of the inventors of the CES function tried to christen it this in Minhas (1962), where he also explored its theoretical and empirical implications for the Heckscher-Ohlin Theorem. The name did not catch on.
Homothetic A function of two or more arguments is homothetic if all ratios of its first partial derivatives depend on only the ratios of the arguments, not their levels. For competitive consumers or producers optimizing subject to homothetic utility or production functions, this means that ratios of goods or inputs demanded depend only on relative prices, not on income or scale.
Homothetic demand Demand functions derived from homothetic preferences. The demand functions are not themselves literally homothetic, but have unit income elasticities.
Homothetic preferences Preferences that can be represented by a utility function that is homothetic. Together with identical preferences, this assumption is used for many propositions in trade theory, in order to assure that consumers with different incomes but facing the same prices will demand goods in the same proportions.
Homothetic tastes Homothetic preferences.
Hong Kong Ministerial The 6th WTO ministerial meeting, held in Hong Kong, China, December 13-18, 2005. Intended to achieve significant progress in the negotiations for the Doha Round, it ended with only minimal progress but was nonetheless declared a success.
Hong Kong Monetary Authority The institution in Hong Kong that performs most of the functions of a central bank, except for having discretion over the money supply, which it controls as a currency board.
Horizontal discipline The use of a rule, as in the regulations of trade policies under the GATT or GATS, that applies across the board to all sectors of the economy.
Horizontal FDI Foreign direct investment by a firm to establish manufacturing facilities in multiple countries, all producing essentially the same thing but for their respective domestic or nearby markets. Contrasts with vertical FDI.
Horizontal integration Production of different varieties of the same product, or different products at the same level of processing, within a single firm. This may, but need not, take place in subsidiaries in different countries.
Horizontal intra-industry trade Intraindustry trade in which the exported and imported products are differentiated by characteristics other than quality, or (less commonly) are at the same stage of processing. Contrasts with vertical IIT.
Horizontal mechanism A procedure for dealing with NTBs that was proposed by the EU as part of the Doha Round negotiations, solving problems between member countries by using an expert panel to advise parties and seek mutually agreed but non-binding solutions.
Horizontal reduction In trade negotiations, a cut in all tariffs by the same percentage. See linear cut.
Hormone dispute See beef hormone case.
HOS Model Heckscher-Ohlin-Samuelson Model.
Host country The country into which a foreign direct investment is made. Contrasts with source country.
Hostage effect One reason why a firm might choose to acquire less than 100% of a foreign firm that it buys, in spite of the extra administrative cost of managing shared ownership: it gives the seller a stake in the acquired firm, and thus incentive to behave and communicate helpfully.
HOT Heckscher-Ohlin Theorem.
Hot money Holdings of very liquid assets, which may be sold or cashed on short notice and then removed from a country, often in response to expectations of devaluation or other financial crisis.
Housing bubble A bubble in the prices of housing. Especially the bubble that occurred leading up to the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. The crisis was precipitated by the decline of house prices especially in the US and Europe.
HOV Model Heckscher-Ohlin-Vanek Model.
Howe Institute C.D. Howe Institute.
Hryvnia The main currency unit of Ukraine. It is divided into 100 kopiyok.
HS Harmonized System
HS chapter The first two digits of a Harmonized System code indicate one of its 99 chapters.
HS heading The next two digits after the HS chapter in a Harmonized System code indicate the largest categories within a chapter.
HS subheading The next two digits after a HS heading in a Harmonized System code, thus digits 5 and 6, indicate the smallest categories that are common across countries.
HTS Harmonized (Tariff) System
Hub and spoke integration A pattern of economic integration in which one country (the "hub") forms preferential trading arrangements with two or more other countries (the "spokes") that do not form such arrangements with each other. [Origin]
Hub-ness The extent to which a country occupies the hub position in Hub and spoke integration. Defined and measured by Baldwin (2009) with the formula HMd = sodX(1−sodM) where HMd is the hub-ness of (destination) country d and sodX, sodM are the shares of (origin) country o's exports and of country d's imports accounted for by o's exports to d.
Human capital 1. The stock of knowledge and skill embodied in an individual person as a result of education, training, and experience, that makes the person more economically productive. Prior economists had recognized the concept, but Pigou (1928) gave it the name.
2. The stock of knowledge and skill embodied in the population of an economy.
Human capital density The amount of human capital per unit land area in a country.
Human Capital Index This index, produced by the World Bank, measures for each country "the amount of human capital that a child born today can expect to attain by age 18, given the risks of poor health and poor education that prevail in the country."
Human Development Index An index produced by UNDP for over 191 countries (as of February 2024, per Wikipedia) to measure three aspects of human development: life expectancy and health; knowledge; and standard of living. [Source]
Human rights The conditions and expectations to which every person, by virtue of his or her existence as a human being, is entitled.
Hydroflourocarbons Man-made chemicals used in refrigeration, air conditioning, and foam insulation that are also greenhouse gases that are far more powerfull than carbon dioxide in contributing to climate change. Their production and use was agreed to be reduced by the Kigali Amendment.
Hyperglobalization Extreme globalization. The term tends to be used with a negative connotation. It was introduced by Rodrik (2011) who, in Rodrik (2018), defined it as "the attempt to eliminate all transaction costs that hinder trade and capital flows."
Hyperinflation Inflation at a very high and rising rate. Defined by Cagan (1956) to be over 50%.
Hysteresis 1. The failure of an economic variable to return to its initial equilibrium after a temporary shock. For example, an industry or trade flow might disappear due to an exchange rate change, then not reappear after the change is reversed.
2. A time lag between a cause and an effect. (Although this seems to be the more standard dictionary definition, economists seem to prefer definition 1.)