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International Competition, Returns to Skill and Labor Market Adjustment

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  • Rod Falvey
  • David Greenaway
  • Joana Silva

Abstract

This paper examines whether increased import competition induces domestic workers to skill upgrade and/or switch industries. The analysis makes use of a large unique longitudinal matched employer-employee dataset that covers virtually all workers and firms in Portugal over the 1986-2000 period. Our identification strategy uses two exogenous changes in the degree of international competition. First, we exploit the strong appreciation of the Portuguese currency in 1989-1992 and pre-existing differences in trade exposure across industries in a differences-in-differences estimation. Second, we make use of changes in industry-specific (source-weighted) real exchange rates. A bivariate probit model is used to analyse the impact of increased international competition on skill-upgrading and/or industry switching. Based on both empirical strategies, and on two different skill definitions, we find strong confirmation for the hypothesis that increased international competition increases the returns to skill and induces skill upgrading.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Nottingham, GEP in its series Discussion Papers with number 08/10.

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Handle: RePEc:not:notgep:08/10

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Postal: School of Economics University of Nottingham University Park Nottingham NG7 2RD
Phone: (44) 0115 951 5620
Fax: (0115) 951 4159
Web page: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/gep/index.aspx
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Related research

Keywords: International trade; Skill-upgrading; Labour market adjustment;

References

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  1. María Guadalupe, 2005. "Product Market Competition Returns to Skill and Wage Inequality," CEP Discussion Papers dp0686, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Luis Garicano & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2005. "Organization and Inequality in a Knowledge Economy," NBER Working Papers 11458, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Eve Caroli & John Van Reenen, 2001. "Skill-Biased Organizational Change? Evidence From A Panel Of British And French Establishments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1449-1492, November.
  4. Robert Feenstra & Gordon Hanson, 2001. "Global Production Sharing and Rising Inequality: A Survey of Trade and Wages," NBER Working Papers 8372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Ngo Van Long & Raymond Riezman & Antoine Soubeyran, 2007. "Trade, Wage Gaps, and Specific Human Capital Accumulation," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(1), pages 75-92, 02.
  6. Vicente Cuñat & Maria Guadalupe, 2005. "How Does Product Market Competition Shape Incentive Contracts?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(5), pages 1058-1082, 09.
  7. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-98, April.
  8. Marianne Bertrand, 1999. "From the Invisible Handshake to the Invisible Hand? How Import Competition Changes the Employment Relationship," NBER Working Papers 6900, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. BARHAM, Vicky & BOADWAY, Robin & MARCHAND, Maurice & PESTIEAU, Pierre, 1992. "Education and the poverty trap," CORE Discussion Papers 1992010, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  10. Hartog,Joop & Maassen van den Brink,Henriëtte (ed.), 2007. "Human Capital," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521873161, October.
  11. Rod Falvey & David Greenaway & Joana Silva, . "Trade Liberalisation and Human Capital Adjustment," Discussion Papers 10/08, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  12. Jose Manuel Campa & Linda S. Goldberg, 2001. "Employment Versus Wage Adjustment And The U.S. Dollar," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 477-489, August.
  13. Peter Wright & Richard Upward, 2004. "Snakes Or Ladders: Skill Upgrading And Occupational Mobility In The US And UK During The 1990s," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 114, Royal Economic Society.
  14. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 7-72, March.
  15. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & Sébastien Roux, 2006. "Wages, Mobility and Firm Performance: Advantages and Insights from Using Matched Worker-Firm Data," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(512), pages F245-F285, 06.
  16. Carl Davidson & Steven J. Matusz, 2004. "An Overlapping-generations Model of Escape Clause Protection," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(5), pages 749-768, November.
  17. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Nina Pavcnik, 2007. "Distributional Effects of Globalization in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 12885, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Choi, E. Kwan & Harrigan, James, 2003. "Handbook of International Trade," Staff General Research Papers 11375, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  19. Greenaway, David & Nelson, Douglas, 2000. "The Assessment: Globalization and Labour-Market Adjustment," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(3), pages 1-11, Autumn.
  20. Abowd, John M. & Kramarz, Francis, 1999. "The analysis of labor markets using matched employer-employee data," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 40, pages 2629-2710 Elsevier.
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Cited by:
  1. Sly, Nicholas, 2010. "Skill Acquisition, Incentive Contracts and Jobs: Labor Market Adjustment to Trade," MPRA Paper 25004, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Nakhoda, Aadil, 2012. "The effect of foreign competition on product switching activities: A firm level analysis," MPRA Paper 39167, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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