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Trade and Variety-Skill Complementarity: A Simple Trade-Based Resolution of Wage Inequality Anomaly

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  • Kurokawa, Yoshinori

Abstract

The Stolper-Samuelson theorem predicts the relative wage of high-skilled labor will increase in the U.S. but decrease in Mexico after trade, while data shows the skill premium began to rise in both countries during the 1980s. This paper presents a simple trade-based resolution of this “wage inequality anomaly.” The resolution is a straightforward application of well-known variety trade models. Intra-industry trade increases the variety of intermediate goods used by the high-skill intensive final good. If the varieties and high skill are “complements,” the skill premium rises in both countries. Evidence supports this linking of intra-industry trade to wage inequality.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/29875/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 14011.

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Date of creation: Apr 2006
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:14011

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Related research

Keywords: Trade; Wage inequality; Variety-skill complementarity;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Jesus Canas & Roberto Coronado, 2004. "U.S.-Mexico trade: are we still connected?," Business Frontier, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, pages 1-4, 8.
  3. Choi, E. Kwan & Harrigan, James, 2003. "Handbook of International Trade," Staff General Research Papers 11375, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1995. "Foreign Investment, Outsourcing and Relative Wages," NBER Working Papers 5121, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "National and International Returns to Scale in the Modern Theory of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 389-405, June.
  6. Per Krusell & Lee E. Ohanian & JosÈ-Victor RÌos-Rull & Giovanni L. Violante, 2000. "Capital-Skill Complementarity and Inequality: A Macroeconomic Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1029-1054, September.
  7. 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.
  8. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555 Elsevier.
  9. 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.
  10. Matthew F. Mitchell, 2001. "Specialization and the skill premium in the 20th century," Staff Report 290, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  11. Robert C. Feenstra & Gene M. Grossman & Douglas A. Irwin (ed.), 1996. "The Political Economy of Trade Policy: Papers in Honor of Jagdish Bhagwati," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061864, December.
  12. Paul Segerstrom & Elias Dinopoulos, 1999. "A Schumpeterian Model of Protection and Relative Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 450-472, June.
  13. Robertson, Raymond, 2004. "Relative prices and wage inequality: evidence from Mexico," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 387-409, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Yoshinori Kurokawa, 2014. "A Survey Of Trade And Wage Inequality: Anomalies, Resolutions And New Trends," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(1), pages 169-193, 02.
  2. Kurokawa, Yoshinori, 2006. "Skill Intensity Reversal and the Rising Skill Premium: Evidence from the U.S. and Mexico," MPRA Paper 14013, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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