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Immigrants and Natives in General Equilibrium Trade Models

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  • Daniel Trefler

Abstract

This paper makes three observations about international trade and immigration. (i)" Borjas has argued that immigration may yield a net social benefit even though it hurts those less-skilled workers who directly compete with immigrants. I show that this closed-economy" argument unravels when imbedded in the Ricardian or Heckscher-Ohlin models of international" trade. (ii) Following Wood and Feenstra-Hanson, I argue that within an industry those goods" produced abroad use more unskilled labor than those goods produced in the United States. How" much more depends on whether the good is produced in a developed or developing country. " After transparently incorporating this into a new factor content study I find that changes in U.S." trade patterns almost certainly battered wages of those at the very bottom of the skill ladder. (iii)" Despite globalization pressures, I find little evidence of earnings convergence for a sample of 75" countries over the 1963-92 period. This holds true even after controlling for education and workers' industry of affiliation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6209.

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Date of creation: Oct 1997
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Publication status: published as In The Immigration Debate: Studies on the Economic, Demographic, and Fiscal Effects of Immigration, Smith, James P., ed., Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1998, pp. 206-238.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6209

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  1. Markusen, James R., 1983. "Factor movements and commodity trade as complements," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3-4), pages 341-356, May.
  2. 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.
  3. Steve J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1991. "Wage Dispersion Between and Within U.S. Manufacturing Plants, 1963-1986," NBER Working Papers 3722, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. R. Dornbusch & S. Fischer & P. A. Samuelson, 1976. "Comparative Advantage, Trade and Payments in a Ricardian Model With a Continuum of Goods," Working papers 178, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Feenstra, Robert C & Hanson, Gordon H, 1996. "Globalization, Outsourcing, and Wage Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 240-45, May.
  6. Stephen Nickell & D Nicolitsas, 1994. "Wages," CEP Discussion Papers dp0219, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  7. Trefler, Daniel, 1995. "The Case of the Missing Trade and Other Mysteries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1029-46, December.
  8. Edward E. Leamer, 1992. "Wage Effects of A U.S. - Mexican Free Trade Agreement," NBER Working Papers 3991, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Goldin, Claudia & Katz, Lawrence F, 1996. "Technology, Skill, and the Wage Structure: Insights from the Past," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 252-57, May.
  10. George J. Borjas & Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1991. "On the Labor Market Effects of Immigration and Trade," NBER Working Papers 3761, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 1993. "International Comparisons of Educational Attainment," NBER Working Papers 4349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Trefler, Daniel, 1993. "International Factor Price Differences: Leontief Was Right!," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 961-87, December.
  13. Murphy, Kevin M & Welch, Finis, 1993. "Inequality and Relative Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 104-09, May.
  14. George J. Borjas, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 2248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Griliches, Zvi, 1969. "Capital-Skill Complementarity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(4), pages 465-68, November.
  16. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka, 1992. "International Migration and International Trade," NBER Working Papers 4230, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  18. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
  19. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Howard J. Shatz, 1994. "Trade and Jobs in Manufacturing," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(1), pages 1-84.
  20. George J. Borjas, 1995. "The Economic Benefits from Immigration," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 3-22, Spring.
  21. Gaston, Noel & Trefler, Daniel, 1995. "Union wage sensitivity to trade and protection: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1-2), pages 1-25, August.
  22. James A. Brander & Barbara J. Spencer, 1981. "Tariffs and the Extraction of Foreign Monopoly Rents under Potential Entry," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 14(3), pages 371-89, August.
  23. Mayer, Wolfgang, 1974. "Short-Run and Long-Run Equilibrium for a Small Open Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(5), pages 955-67, Sept./Oct.
  24. Eli Berman & John Bound & Zvi Griliches, 1993. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U.S. Manufacturing Industries: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufacturing," NBER Working Papers 4255, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Trefler, Daniel, 1993. "Trade Liberalization and the Theory of Endogenous Protection: An Econometric Study of U.S. Import Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 138-60, February.
  26. Leamer, Edward E, 1993. "Factor-Supply Differences as a," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 436-39, May.
  27. Helpman, Elhanan, 1984. "Increasing returns, imperfect markets, and trade theory," Handbook of International Economics, in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 325-365 Elsevier.
  28. Mussa, Michael, 1974. "Tariffs and the Distribution of Income: The Importance of Factor Specificity, Substitutability, and Intensity in the Short and Long Run," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1191-1203, Nov.-Dec..
  29. Daniel Trefler & Susan Chun Zhu, 2005. "The Structure of Factor Content Predictions," NBER Working Papers 11221, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. George J. Borjas & Valerie A. Ramey, 1993. "Foreign Competition, Market Power and Wage Inequality: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 4556, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Boeri, Tito & Brücker, Herbert, 2005. "Migration, Co-ordination Failures and EU Enlargement," IZA Discussion Papers 1600, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Mayda, Anna Maria, 2005. "International Migration: A Panel Data Analysis of Economic and Non-Economic Determinants," IZA Discussion Papers 1590, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Harry P. Bowen & Jennifer Pédussel Wu, 2013. "Immigrant Specificity and the Relationship between Trade and Immigration: Theory and Evidence," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 366-384, October.
  4. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 2002. "Technological Superiority and the Losses from Migration," NBER Working Papers 8971, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Kar, Saibal & Beladi, Hamid, 2004. "Skill formation and international migration: welfare perspective of developing countries," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 35-54, January.
  6. Mayda, Anna Maria, 2008. "Why are people more pro-trade than pro-migration?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 160-163, December.
  7. Anna Maria Mayda, 2004. "Who is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants," Development Working Papers 187, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  8. Salvador Valdés-Prieto, 2013. "Portability of Social Benefits and International Trade in Services: Some Reflections," CESifo Working Paper Series 4080, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Istvan Konya, 2001. "Optimal Immigration, Assimilation and Trade," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 507, Boston College Department of Economics.
  10. Tito Boeri & Herbert Brücker, 2005. "Why are Europeans so tough on migrants?," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 20(44), pages 629-703, October.
  11. Herbert Brücker, 2003. "Die Arbeitsmarkteffekte der Ost-West-Migration: theoretische Überlegungen, Simulationen und empirische Befunde," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 72(4), pages 579-593.
  12. Chletsos, Michael & Roupakias, Stelios, 2012. "Immigration, Unemployment and Growth: Empirical Evidence from Greece," MPRA Paper 39861, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Wang-Sheng Lee, 2007. "Immigration and Wages: An Open Economy Model," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2007n07, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  14. O'Rourke, Kevin H. & Sinnott, Richard, 2006. "The determinants of individual attitudes towards immigration," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 838-861, December.
  15. Tito Boeri & Herbert Brücker, 2005. "Migration, Co-ordination Failures and EU Enlargement: Paper Presented at the 41st Economic Policy Panel in Luxembourg, 15/16 April 2005," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 481, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

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