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The impact of trade liberalization on manufacturing employment and wages in Egypt 1990-2007

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  • Said, Mona
  • Elshennawy, Abeer

Abstract

This paper explores the impact of trade liberalization on manufacturing employment and wages over a period 1993-2006, a period coinciding with significant reduction in trade barriers and rising unemployment. Despite increasing import penetration, the paper shows that employment has increased across all manufacturing industries. Data from Egypt’s labor market survey confirm that layoffs as a result of trade liberalization is not among the factors responsible for unemployment. On the other hand, regression analysis shows that the reduction in tariffs and increasing export orientation has been associated with an increase in wages in manufacturing industries though the role of export orientation in influencing poor wages has not been significant. Meanwhile, quantile regressions reveal that the impact of both the reduction in tariffs and increase in export orientation has not been uniform across the different quantiles of the wage distribution. The paper further points out to the possibility that further reduction of trade barriers might lead to high adjustment costs in terms of long spells of unemployment or lower pay on grounds of old age and low educational attainment of Egypt’s work force. Adjustment policies in the form of direct job search assistance as country experience illustrates is considered to be the most appropriate form of adjustment assistance.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 25759.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:25759

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Keywords: Trade liberalization; employment; wages; adjustment costs; adjustment assistance;

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  1. Attanasio, Orazio & Goldberg, Pinelopi & Pavcnik, Nina, 2003. "Trade Reforms and Wage Inequality in Colombia," CEPR Discussion Papers 4023, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Harrison, Ann & Hanson, Gordon, 1999. "Who gains from trade reform? Some remaining puzzles," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 125-154, June.
  3. Bernard Hoekman & Alan L. Winters, 2005. "Trade and Employment: Stylized Facts and Research Findings," Working Papers 7, United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs.
  4. Puja Vasudeva Dutta, 2007. "Trade Protection and Inter-Industry Wages in India," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(2), pages 268-286, January.
  5. Lori G. Kletzer, 2001. "Job Loss from Imports: Measuring the Costs," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 110.
  6. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  7. Davidson, Carl & Martin, Lawrence & Matusz, Steven, 1999. "Trade and search generated unemployment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 271-299, August.
  8. Matusz, Steven J, 1996. "International Trade, the Division of Labor, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(1), pages 71-84, February.
  9. Krueger, Alan B & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Efficiency Wages and the Inter-industry Wage Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 259-93, March.
  10. Koujianou Goldberg, Pinelopi & Pavcnik, Nina, 2003. "The response of the informal sector to trade liberalization," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 463-496, December.
  11. Revenga, Ana, 1997. "Employment and Wage Effects of Trade Liberalization: The Case of Mexican Manufacturing," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages S20-43, July.
  12. Matusz, Steven J. & Tarr, David, 1999. "Adjusting to trade policy reform," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2142, The World Bank.
  13. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
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