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Labor market polarization and international macroeconomic dynamics

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  • Mandelman, Federico S.

    ()
    (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta)

Abstract

During the last thirty years, labor markets in advanced economies were characterized by their remarkable polarization. As job opportunities in middle-skill occupations disappeared, employment opportunities concentrated in the highest- and lowest-wage occupations. I develop a two-country stochastic growth model that incorporates trade in tasks, rather than in goods, and reveal that this setup can replicate the observed polarization in the United States. This polarization was not a steady process: the relative employment share of each skill group fluctuated significantly over short-to-medium horizons. I show that the domestic and international aggregate shocks estimated within this framework can rationalize such employment dynamics while providing a good fit to the macroeconomic data. The model is estimated with employment data for different skills groups and trade-weighted macroeconomic indicators.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series Working Paper with number 2013-17.

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Length: 62 pages
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2013-17

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Keywords: labor market polarization; international business cycles; heterogeneous agents; stochastic growth; two-country models;

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  1. Mandelman, Federico S. & Zlate, Andrei, 2012. "Immigration, remittances and business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 196-213.
  2. Julie L. Hotchkiss & Myriam Quispe-Agnoli, 2008. "The labor market experience and impact of undocumented workers," Working Paper 2008-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  3. Han, Jun & Liu, Runjuan & Zhang, Junsen, 2012. "Globalization and wage inequality: Evidence from urban China," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 288-297.
  4. Feige, Edgar L. & Cebula, Richard, 2011. "America’s Underground Economy: Measuring the Size, Growth and Determinants of Income Tax Evasion in the U.S," MPRA Paper 29672, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Fabio Ghironi & Marc J. Melitz, 2005. "International Trade and Macroeconomic Dynamics with Heterogeneous Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 865-915, August.
  6. Federico S. Mandelman & Pau Rabanal & Juan F. Rubio-Ramírez & Diego Vilán, 2010. "Investment-specific technology shocks and international business cycles: an empirical assessment," Working Paper 2010-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  7. Nir Jaimovich & Henry E. Siu, 2012. "The Trend is the Cycle: Job Polarization and Jobless Recoveries," NBER Working Papers 18334, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Gene M. Grossman & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2008. "Task Trade between Similar Countries," NBER Working Papers 14554, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Wright, Greg C., 2014. "Revisiting the employment impact of offshoring," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 63-83.
  10. Gene M. Grossman & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2006. "Trading Tasks: A Simple Theory of Offshoring," NBER Working Papers 12721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Andrei Zlate, 2010. "Offshore production and business cycle dynamics with heterogeneous firms," International Finance Discussion Papers 995, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Nina Pavcnik, 2007. "Distributional Effects of Globalization in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 12885, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Firpo, Sergio & Fortin, Nicole M. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2011. "Occupational Tasks and Changes in the Wage Structure," IZA Discussion Papers 5542, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Alejandro Justiniano & Bruce Preston, 2009. "Monetary policy and uncertainty in an empirical small open economy model," Working Paper Series WP-09-21, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  15. International Monetary Fund, 2010. "Investment," IMF Working Papers 10/207, International Monetary Fund.
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