The article examines the impact of changing human resource endowments on the factor intensity and commodity composition of manufacturing exports in the ASEAN economies. There is evidence that skill and human capital endowments over the period 1970‐83 have increased, and that this rise in the quality of the labour force has influenced the factor use pattern in the manufacturing sector, as reflected in the shift towards relatively more skill‐intensive forms of production. The evidence on the human resource orientation of ASEAN exports is also consistent with the notion that increased human capital endowments have influenced the factor intensity of manufactured exports, although in some cases this tendency is exaggerated by the high growth in capital‐intensive intermediate imports. The findings of the article are consistent with the argument that policy directed towards the development of human capital can make a significant contribution in enabling an economy to develop the production and trade structures needed to retain its international competitive advantage.
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