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Trade, Wages, and Profits

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  • Egger, Hartmut
  • Egger, Peter
  • Kreickemeier, Udo

Abstract

This paper formulates a structural empirical model of heterogeneous firms whose workers exhibit fair-wage preferences. In the underlying theoretical framework, such preferences lead to a link between a firm's operating profits on the one hand and wages of workers employed by this firm on the other hand. The latter establishes an exporter wage premium, since exporters have higher profits, given their productivity, than non-exporting firms. We estimate the parameters of the model in a data-set of five European economies and find that, when evaluated at these parameter values, the model has a high level of explanatory power. The estimates also enable us to quantify the exporter wage premium and the consequences of trade for the main variables of interest. According to our results, openness to international trade contributes to greater inequality across firms in terms of both operating profits and average wages. We also find evidence for gains from trade for all five countries, which go along with negative, but quantitatively moderate, aggregate employment effects.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8727.

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Date of creation: Dec 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8727

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Keywords: Exporter wage premium; Fair wages; Heterogeneous firms; Labour market imperfections; Structural models;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Stephen Redding & Oleg Itskhoki & Marc-Andreas Muendler & Elhanan Helpman, 2012. "Trade and Inequality: From Theory to Estimation," 2012 Meeting Papers 135, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Hartmut Egger & Udo Kreickemeier, . "Fairness, Trade, and Inequality," Discussion Papers 08/19, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  3. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Impullitti, Giammario & Prat, Julien, 2014. "Firm Dynamics and Residual Inequality in Open Economies," CEPR Discussion Papers 9855, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Hauptmann, Andreas & Schmerer, Hans-Jörg, 2013. "Do exporters pay fair-wage premiums?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(2), pages 179-182.
  5. Gabriel J. Felbermayr & Andreas Hauptmann & Hans-Jörg Schmerer, 2012. "International Trade and Collective Bargaining Outcomes: Evidence from German Employer-Employee Data," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Paper No. 130, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  6. Klein, Michael W. & Moser, Christoph & Urban, Dieter M., 2013. "Exporting, skills and wage inequality," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 76-85.

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