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Trade, Offshoring, and the Invisible Handshake

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  • Bilgehan Karabay
  • John McLaren

Abstract

We study the effect of globalization on the volatility of wages and worker welfare in a model in which risk is allocated through long-run employment relationships (the 'invisible handshake'). Globalization can take two forms: International integration of commodity markets (i.e., free trade) and international integration of factor markets (i.e., offshoring). In a two-country, two-good, two-factor model we show that free trade and offshoring have opposite effects on rich-country workers. Free trade hurts rich-country workers, while reducing the volatility of their wages; by contrast, offshoring benefits them, while raising the volatility of their wages. We thus formalize, but also sharply circumscribe, a common critique of globalization.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15048.

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Date of creation: Jun 2009
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15048

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  1. Pol Antras & Luis Garicano & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2005. "Offshoring in a Knowledge Economy," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2067, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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Cited by:
  1. Harrison, Ann & McLaren, John & McMillan, Margaret S., 2010. "Recent findings on trade and inequality:," IFPRI discussion papers 1047, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. Devashish Mitra & Priya Ranjan, 2007. "Offshoring and Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 13149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Mitra, Devashish & Ranjan, Priya, 2009. "Offshoring and Unemployment: The Role of Search Frictions and Labor Mobility," IZA Discussion Papers 4136, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Mitra, Devashish & Ranjan, Priya, 2010. "Offshoring and unemployment: The role of search frictions labor mobility," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 219-229, July.
  5. Ann Harrison & John McLaren & Margaret McMillan, 2011. "Recent Perspectives on Trade and Inequality," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 261-289, 09.
  6. Silvia Rocha-Akis, 2012. "The Pain and Gain of Offshoring: The Effects of Tax Progression in a Segmented Labour Market," CESifo Working Paper Series 3739, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Devashish Mitra & Priya Ranjan, 2009. "Offshoring and Unemployment: The Role of Search Frictions and Labor Minority," Working Papers id:2071, eSocialSciences.
  8. Pranab Bardhan & Dilip Mookherjee & Masatoshi Tsumagari, 2013. "Middlemen Margins and Globalization," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 81-119, November.

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