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Trade and Workforce Changeover in Brazil

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  • Marc-Andreas Muendler

Abstract

Linked employer-employee data for Brazil over a period of large-scale trade liberalization document two salient workforce changeovers. Within the traded-goods sector, there is a marked occupation downgrading and a simultaneous education upgrading by which employers fill expanding low-skill intensive occupations with increasingly educated jobholders. Between sectors, there is a labor demand shift towards the least and the most skilled, which can be traced back to relatively weaker declines of traded-goods industries that intensely use low-skilled labor and to relatively stronger expansions of nontraded-output industries that intensely use high-skilled labor. Whereas these observations are broadly consistent with predictions of Heckscher-Ohlin trade theory for a low-skill abundant economy, classic trade theory is a less useful guide to the observed reallocation pattern. Establishment-level regressions show that exporters exhibit significant employment downsizing. Workforce changeovers are neither achieved through worker reassignments to new tasks within employers nor are they brought about by reallocations across employers and traded-goods industries. Instead, trade-exposed industries shrink their workforces by dismissing less-schooled workers more frequently than more-schooled workers especially in skill-intensive occupations, while most displaced workers shift to nontraded-output industries or out of recorded employment. It remains an important task for research to analyze the impact of economic reform on worker separations, accessions and spell durations outside employment at the individual worker level.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12980.

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Date of creation: Mar 2007
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Publication status: published as Bender, S., J. Lane, K. Shaw, F. Andersson, and T. von Wachter (eds.) The Analysis of Firms and Employees: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches, NBER Conference Report. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2008.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12980

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References

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  1. Michael W. Klein & Scott Schuh & Robert K. Triest, 2000. "Job Creation, Job Destruction, and the Real Exchange Rate," NBER Working Papers 7466, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. James J. Heckman & Carmen Pagés, 2004. "Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number heck04-1, octubre-d.
  3. Filho, Naerico Aquino Menezes & Muendler, Marc-Andreas & Ramey, Garey, 2006. "The Structure of Worker Compensation in Brazil, With a Comparison to France and the United States," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt8pr105rg, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  4. Gustavo Gonzaga & Naércio Menezes Filho & Cristina Terra, 2006. "Trade Liberalization and the Evolution of Skill Earnings Differentials in Brazil," Development Working Papers 216, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  5. John Haltiwanger & Adriana Kugler & Maurice Kugler & Alejandro Micco & Carmen Pages, 2004. "Effects of tariffs and real exchange rates on job reallocation: evidence from Latin America," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(4), pages 191-208.
  6. Gustavo Gonzaga, 2003. "Labor Turnover and Labor Legislation in Brazil," JOURNAL OF LACEA ECONOMIA, LACEA - LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION.
  7. Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier, 1999. "Exchange rates do matter: French job reallocation and exchange rate turbulence, 1984-1992," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 1279-1316, June.
  8. Muendler, Marc-Andreas, 2004. "Trade, Technology, and Productivity: A Study of Brazilian Manufacturers, 1986-1998," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt6m96c2r7, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  9. Eduardo Pontual Ribeiro & Carlos Corseuil & Daniel Santos & Paulo Furtado & Brunu Amorim & Luciana Servo & Andre Souza, 2004. "Trade liberalization, the exchange rate and job flows in Brazil," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(4), pages 209-223.
  10. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, December.
  11. Revenga, Ana L, 1992. "Exporting Jobs? The Impact of Import Competition on Employment and Wages in U.S. Manufacturing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 255-84, February.
  12. James J. Heckman & Carmen Pagés, 2004. "Introduction to "Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin American and the Caribbean"," NBER Chapters, in: Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean, pages 1-108 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Menezes Filho, N. A. & Menezes Filho, N. A., 2007. "The Structure of Worker Compensation in Brazil, With a Comparison to France and the United States," Insper Working Papers wpe_78, Insper Working Paper, Insper Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa.
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Cited by:
  1. Túlio A. Cravo & Adrian Gourlay & Bettina Becker, 2010. "SMEs and Regional Economic Growth in Brazil," Discussion Paper Series 2010_01, Department of Economics, Loughborough University, revised Jan 2010.
  2. Tebaldi, Edinaldo & Kim, Jongsung, 2008. "Two Tales on the Returns to Education: The Impact of Trade on Wages," MPRA Paper 9698, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. 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.
  4. T√∫lio Cravo, 2011. "Regional Economic Growth and SMEs in Brazil: a Spatial Analysis (Submission for the Refereed Y-session Papers)," ERSA conference papers ersa10p508, European Regional Science Association.
  5. T�lio A. Cravo, 2010. "SMEs and economic growth in the Brazilian micro-regions," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 89(4), pages 711-734, November.

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