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Trade Reforms, Labor Regulations, and Labor-Demand Elasticities: Empirical Evidence from India

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  • Rana Hasan

    (Asian Development Bank and East-West Center)

  • Devashish Mitra

    (Syracuse University, NBER, and IZA)

  • K.V. Ramaswamy

    (Indira Gandhi Institute for Development Research)

Abstract

Using industry-level data disaggregated by states, this paper finds a positive impact of trade liberalization on (the absolute values of) labor demand elasticities in the Indian manufacturing sector. The magnitudes of these elasticities turn out to be negatively related to protection levels that vary across industries and over time. Furthermore, we find that these elasticities are not only larger in size for Indian states with more flexible labor regulations, they are also impacted there to a larger degree by trade reforms. Finally, we find that the reforms have led to a reduction in the share of labor in total output and value added, possibly due to the reduction in the bargaining power of workers. Copyright by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 89 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 466-481

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:89:y:2007:i:3:p:466-481

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  1. Ann Harrison & Gordon Hanson, 1999. "Who Gains from Trade Reform? Some Remaining Puzzles," NBER Working Papers 6915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 131-165, 06.
  3. Haskel, Jonathan & Slaughter, Matthew J, 2001. "Trade, Technology and U.K. Wage Inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(468), pages 163-87, January.
  4. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2002. "Can Labour Regulation Hinder Economic Performance? Evidence from India," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 33, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  5. Pravin Krishna & Devashish Mitra, . "Trade Liberalization, Market Discipline and Productivity Growth: New Evidence From India," Working Papers 96-8, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  6. Hasan, Rana, 2002. "The impact of imported and domestic technologies on the productivity of firms: panel data evidence from Indian manufacturing firms," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 23-49, October.
  7. Ruth A. Judson & Ann L. Owen, 1997. "Estimating dynamic panel data models: a practical guide for macroeconomists," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1997-3, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. Slaughter, Matthew J., 2001. "International trade and labor-demand elasticities," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 27-56, June.
  9. Harrison, Ann E., 1994. "Productivity, imperfect competition and trade reform : Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-2), pages 53-73, February.
  10. Zvi Griliches & Jerry A. Hausman, 1984. "Errors in Variables in Panel Data," NBER Technical Working Papers 0037, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Krishna, Pravin & Mitra, Devashish & Chinoy, Sajjid, 2001. "Trade liberalization and labor demand elasticities: evidence from Turkey," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 391-409, December.
  12. Westbrook, M Daniel & Tybout, James R, 1993. "Estimating Returns to Scale with Large, Imperfect Panels: An Application to Chilean Manufacturing Industries," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 7(1), pages 85-112, January.
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