We extend the dynamic Heckscher–Ohlin model in Bond et al. [Economic Theory (48, 171–204, 2011)] and show that if the labor-intensive good is inferior, then there may exist multiple steady states in autarky and poverty traps can arise. Poverty traps for the world economy, in the form of Pareto-dominated steady states, are also shown to exist. We show that the opening of trade can have the effect of pulling the initially poorer country out of a poverty trap, with both countries having steady state capital stocks exceeding the autarky level. However, trade can also pull an initially richer country into a poverty trap. These possibilities are a sharp contrast with dynamic Heckscher–Ohlin models with normality in consumption, where the country with the larger (smaller) capital stock than the other will reach a steady state where the level of welfare is higher (lower) than in the autarkic steady state.
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