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International Trade and American Wages in General Equilibrium, 1967-1995

In: The Impact of International Trade on Wages

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  • James Harrigan

Abstract

In the last quarter century, wage inequality has increased dramatically in the United States. At the same time, the United States has become more integrated into the world economy, relative prices of final goods have changed, the capital stock has more than doubled, and the labor force has become steadily more educated. This paper estimates a flexible, empirical, general equilibrium model of wage determination in an attempt to sort out the connections between these trends. Aggregate data on prices and quantities of imports, outputs, and factor supplies are constructed from disaggregate sources. The econometric analysis concludes that wage inequality has been partly driven by changes in relative factor supplies and relative final goods prices. In contrast, imports have played a negligible direct role.

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This chapter was published in:

  • Robert C. Feenstra, 2000. "The Impact of International Trade on Wages," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number feen00-1, July.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 6193.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:6193

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    References

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    1. Harrigan, James, 1997. "Technology, Factor Supplies, and International Specialization: Estimating the Neoclassical Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 475-94, September.
    2. Berndt, Ernst R & Savin, N Eugene, 1975. "Estimation and Hypothesis Testing in Singular Equation Systems with Autoregressive Disturbances," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 43(5-6), pages 937-57, Sept.-Nov.
    3. Murphy, Kevin M & Welch, Finis, 1992. "The Structure of Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 285-326, February.
    4. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 1993. "Estimation and Inference in Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195060119, September.
    5. Park, Jin Heum, 1996. "Measuring education over time: A comparison of old and new measures of eduction from the Current Population Survey," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 425-428, March.
    6. Baldwin, Robert E & Cain, Glen C, 1997. "Shifts in US Relative Wages: The Role of Trade, Technology and Factor Endowments," CEPR Discussion Papers 1596, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Leamer, E.E., 1995. "The Heckscher-Ohlin Model in Theory and Practice," Princeton Studies in International Economics 77, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
    8. Donald J. Rousslang & Theodore To, 1993. "Domestic Trade and Transportation Costs as Barriers to International Trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 26(1), pages 208-21, February.
    9. Matthew J. Slaughter, 1998. "What Are the Results of Product-Price Studies and What Can We Learn From Their Differences?," NBER Working Papers 6591, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Krugman, Paul R., 2000. "Technology, trade and factor prices," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 51-71, February.
    11. Jones, Ronald W & Scheinkman, Jose A, 1977. "The Relevance of the Two-Sector Production Model in Trade Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(5), pages 909-35, October.
    12. Wolak, Frank A., 1989. "Testing inequality constraints in linear econometric models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 205-235, June.
    13. Edward E. Leamer, 1996. "In Search of Stolper-Samuelson Effects on U.S. Wages," NBER Working Papers 5427, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:
    1. Peter H. Lindert & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2001. "Does Globalization Make the World More Unequal?," NBER Working Papers 8228, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Strauss-Kahn, Vanessa, 2003. "Globalization and wage premia: reconciling facts and theory," MPRA Paper 20410, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Dao-Zhi Zeng & Laixun Zhao, 2007. "Globalization, Interregional and International Inequalities," Discussion Paper Series 209, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
    4. Avraham Ebenstein & Ann Harrison & Margaret McMillan & Shannon Phillips, 2009. "Why are American Workers getting Poorer? Estimating the Impact of Trade and Offshoring Using the CPS," NBER Working Papers 15107, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Ebenstein, Avraham & Harrison, Ann & McMillan, Margaret & Phillips, Shannon, 2011. "Estimating the impact of trade and offshoring on American workers using the current population surveys," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5750, The World Bank.

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