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Exports and Wages: Rent Sharing, Workforce Composition or Returns to Skills?

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  • Mario Macis

    (Johns Hopkins University and IZA)

  • Fabiano Schivardi

    (University of Cagliari, EIEF, CEPR and Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano)

Abstract

We use linked employer-employee data from Italy to explore the relationship between exports and wages. Our empirical strategy exploits the 1992 devaluation of the Italian Lira, which represented a large and unforeseen shock to Italian firms’ incentives to export. The results indicate that the export wage premium is due to exporting firms both (1) paying a wage premium above what their workers would earn in the outside labor market – the “rent-sharing” effect, and (2) employing workers whose skills command a higher price after the devaluation – the “skill composition” effect. The latter effect only emerges once we allow for the value of individual skills to differ in the pre- and post-devaluation periods. In fact, using a fixed measure of skills, as typically done in the literature, we would attribute the wage increase only to rent sharing. We also document that the export wage premium is larger for workers with more export-related experience. This indicates that the devaluation increased the demand for skills more useful for exporting, driving their relative price up.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano in its series Development Working Papers with number 333.

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Length: 42
Date of creation: 16 Jul 2012
Date of revision: 16 Jul 2012
Handle: RePEc:csl:devewp:333

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Keywords: Export Wage Premium; Linked Employer Employee Data;

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References

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  1. Albert Park & Dean Yang & Xinzheng Shi & Yuan Jiang, 2006. "Exporting and Firm Performance: Chinese Exporters and the Asian Financial Crisis," Working Papers 549, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  2. Maurice Kugler & Eric Verhoogen, 2012. "Prices, Plant Size, and Product Quality," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 307-339.
  3. Matteo Bugamelli & Fabiano Schivardi & Roberta Zizza, 2010. "The Euro and Firm Restructuring," NBER Chapters, in: Europe and the Euro, pages 99-138 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Luigi Guiso & Fabiano Schivardi, 2007. "Spillovers in Industrial Districts," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(516), pages 68-93, 01.
  5. Mion, Giordano & Opromolla, Luca David, 2011. "Managers' Mobility, Trade Status, and Wages," CEPR Discussion Papers 8230, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Paula Bustos, 2011. "Trade Liberalization, Exports, and Technology Upgrading: Evidence on the Impact of MERCOSUR on Argentinian Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 304-40, February.
  7. Krishna, Pravin & Poole, Jennifer P. & Senses, Mine Zeynep, 2011. "Trade liberalization, firm heterogeneity, and wages : new evidence from matched employer-employee data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5711, The World Bank.
  8. Oleg Itskhoki & Elhanan Helpman, 2008. "Labor Market Rigidities, Trade and Unemployment," 2008 Meeting Papers 690, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Judith A. Frias & David S. Kaplan & Eric Verhoogen, 2012. "Exports and Within-Plant Wage Distributions: Evidence from Mexico," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 435-40, May.
  10. Hartmut Egger & Udo Kreickemeier, 2007. "Firm Heterogeneity and the Labour Market Effects of Trade Liberalisation," CESifo Working Paper Series 2000, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Elhanan Helpman & Oleg Itskhoki & Marc-Andreas Muendler & Stephen Redding, 2012. "Trade and Inequality: From Theory to Estimation," CEP Discussion Papers dp1138, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  12. Pravin Krishna & Jennifer P. Poole & Mine Zeynep Senses, 2011. "Wage Effects of Trade Reform with Endogenous Worker Mobility," NBER Working Papers 17256, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Schank, Thorsten & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2007. "Do exporters really pay higher wages? First evidence from German linked employer-employee data," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 52-74, May.
  14. Davide Castellani & Francesco Serti & Chiara Tomasi, 2008. "Firms in International Trade: Importers and Exporters Heterogeneity in the Italian Manufacturing Industry," LEM Papers Series 2008/04, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  15. Amine Ouazad, 2008. "A2REG: Stata module to estimate models with two fixed effects," Statistical Software Components S456942, Boston College Department of Economics.
  16. John M. Abowd & Robert H. Creecy & Francis Kramarz, 2002. "Computing Person and Firm Effects Using Linked Longitudinal Employer-Employee Data," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2002-06, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  17. Daniel Baumgarten, 2010. "Exporters and the Rise in Wage Inequality – Evidence from German Linked Employer-Employee Data," Ruhr Economic Papers 0217, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  18. Finicelli, Andrea & Liccardi, Alessandra & Sbracia, Massimo, 2005. "A New Indicator of Competitiveness for Italy and the Main Industrial and Emerging Countries," MPRA Paper 4703, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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Cited by:
  1. Jože P. Damijan & Luca Marcolin, 2013. "Global firms and wages: is there a rent sharing channel?," Working Papers 164, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Office of the Chief Economist.
  2. Accetturo, Antonio & Bugamelli, Matteo & Lamorgese, Andrea R., 2013. "Skill upgrading and exports," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(3), pages 417-420.
  3. Card, David & Cardoso, Ana Rute & Kline, Patrick, 2013. "Bargaining and the Gender Wage Gap: A Direct Assessment," IZA Discussion Papers 7592, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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