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Human Capital, Unemployment, and Relative Wages in a Global Economy

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  • Donald R. Davis
  • Trevor A. Reeve

Abstract

This paper develops a simple framework for examining human capital accumulation, unemployment, and relative wages in a global economy. It builds on the models of Davis (1997a, b) of trade between a flexible wage America and a rigid wage Europe. To this it adds a model of human capital accumulation based on Findlay and Kierzkowski (1983). A variety of comparative statics are examined, including changes in educational capital and population, entry of new countries to the trading world, technical change, and a productivity slowdown. We derive the consequences for the skilled-to-unskilled wage gap, unemployment, and skill composition.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6133.

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Date of creation: Aug 1997
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6133

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  1. Berman, Eli & Bound, John & Machin, Stephen, 1997. "Implications of Skill-Biased Technological Change: International Evidence," Working Paper Series 486, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  2. Fernandez, Raquel, 1992. "Terms-of-Trade Uncertainty, Incomplete Markets and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(4), pages 881-94, November.
  3. Sanyal, Kalyan K & Jones, Ronald W, 1982. "The Theory of Trade in Middle Products," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 16-31, March.
  4. Davis, Donald R., 1998. "Technology, unemployment, and relative wages in a global economy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(9), pages 1613-1633, November.
  5. Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1995. "Differences and Changes in Wage Structures," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free95-1, October.
  6. Melvin, James R, 1969. "Intermediate Goods, the Production Possibility Curve, and Gains from Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 141-51, February.
  7. Acemoglu, D., 1996. "Changes in Unemployment and Wage Inequality: An Alternative Theory and Some Evidence," Working papers 96-15, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  8. Bertola, Giuseppe & Ichino, Andrea, 1995. "Wage Inequality and Unemployment: US vs Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 1186, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Brecher, Richard A & Long, Ngo Van, 1989. "Trade Unions in an Open Economy: A General Equilibrium Analysis," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 65(190), pages 234-39, September.
  10. Hoon, Hian Teck, 1991. "Comparative advantage and the equilibrium rate of unemployment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 299-304, November.
  11. Davidson, Carl & Martin, Lawrence & Matusz, Steven, 1991. "Multiple free trade equilibria in micro models of unemployment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-2), pages 157-169, August.
  12. Findlay, Ronald & Kierzkowski, Henryk, 1983. "International Trade and Human Capital: A Simple General Equilibrium Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(6), pages 957-78, December.
  13. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  14. Brecher, Richard A, 1974. "Minimum Wage Rates and the Pure Theory of International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 88(1), pages 98-116, February.
  15. Flug, Karnit & Galor, Oded, 1986. "Minimum Wage in a General Equilibrium Model of International Trade and Human Capital," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(1), pages 149-64, February.
  16. Berman, Eli & Bound, John & Griliches, Zvi, 1994. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U.S. Manufacturing: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufactures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 367-97, May.
  17. Donald R. Davis, 1996. "Does European Unemployment Prop up American Wages?," NBER Working Papers 5620, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Edward E. Leamer, 1996. "In Search of Stolper-Samuelson Effects on U.S. Wages," NBER Working Papers 5427, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Paul Krugman, 1995. "Growing World Trade: Causes and Consequences," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 327-377.
  20. Davis, Donald R, 1998. "Does European Unemployment Prop Up American Wages? National Labor Markets and Global Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 478-94, June.
  21. Paul Krugman & Robert Lawrence, 1993. "Trade, Jobs, and Wages," NBER Working Papers 4478, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Meckl, J├╝rgen, 2005. "Are US Wages Really Determined by European Labor-Market Institutions?," IZA Discussion Papers 1817, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Saccone Donatella, 2008. "Economic openness, skill demand and skill supply in three archetypes of developing countries: a theoretical and empirical investigation," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 200813, University of Turin.
  3. Ann L. Owen, 1999. "International Trade and the Accumulation of Human Capital," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 66(1), pages 61-81, July.
  4. Das, Satya P., 2006. "Trade, skill acquisition and distribution," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 118-141, October.
  5. Stephen Redding, 2002. "Specialization dynamics," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 210, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

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