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Exporters, Importers and Two-way traders: The links between internationalization, skills and wage

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  • Francesco Serti
  • Chiara Tomasi
  • Antonello Zanfei

Abstract

How do trade activities affect firms' employment and wages structures? Using firm level data on Italian manufacturing firms, this paper adds to the existing literature, by assessing how the degree of involvement in international trade impacts on workforce composition, earning levels and wage inequality. We differentiate firms involved in both trading activities - namely two-way traders - from firms that only export, and from those that only import. We show that two-way traders have a higher propensity to employ non-production workers, exhibit significant wage gaps, but also pay higher wages for both production and non production workers, relative to non international- ized firms and to firms which are involved only in either export or import. The paper also looks at how the wages and the skill structure of the trading firms change with the country of destination and origin and with the firms' sectoral and geographical diversification.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy in its series LEM Papers Series with number 2008/05.

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Date of creation: 28 Mar 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2008/05

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Keywords: Heterogeneous Firms; Exports; Imports; Wage Inequality; Skills;

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References

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  1. Laszlo Halpern & Miklos Koren & Adam Szeidl, 2005. "Import and Productivity," IEHAS Discussion Papers 0509, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  2. Mirabelle Muûls & Mauro Pisu, . "Imports and exports at the level of the firm: Evidence from Belgium," Discussion Papers 07/28, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  3. Katz, Lawrence F & Murphy, Kevin M, 1992. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963-1987: Supply and Demand Factors," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 35-78, February.
  4. Thorsten Schank & Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2006. "Do exporters really pay higher wages? First evidence from German linked employer-employee data," Working Paper Series in Economics 28, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  5. Alessandra Tucci, 2005. "Trade, Foreign Networks and Performance: a Firm-Level Analysis for India," Development Working Papers 199, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  6. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Rachel Griffith & Rupert Harrison & John Van Reenen, 2004. "How special is the special relationship? Using the impact of US R&D spillovers on UK firms as a test of technology sourcing," IFS Working Papers W04/32, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  8. 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.
  9. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
  10. Paolo Manasse & Luca Stanca, 2003. "Working on the Train? The Role of Technical Progress and Trade in Explaining Wage Differentials in Italian Firms," Working Papers 242, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  11. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Maurin, Eric & Thesmar, David & Thoenig, Mathias, 2002. "Globalization and the demand for skill: An Export Based Channel," CEPR Discussion Papers 3406, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Rajneesh Narula & Antonello Zanfei, 2003. "Globalisation of Innovation The Role of Multinational Enterprises," DRUID Working Papers 03-15, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  14. Bernard, A.B. & Jensen, J.B., 1994. "Exporters, Skill Upgrading, and the Wage Gap," Working papers 94-30, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  15. Bernhard Heitger & J¸rgen Stehn, 2003. "Trade, Technical Change, and Labour Market Adjustment," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(10), pages 1481-1502, November.
  16. Bound, John & Johnson, George, 1992. "Changes in the Structure of Wages in the 1980's: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 371-92, June.
  17. Pierre Biscourp & Francis Kramarz, 2004. "Employment, Skill Structure and International Trade : Firm-level Evidence for France," Working Papers 2004-28, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  18. John Bound & George E. Johnson, 1989. "Changes in the Structure of Wages During the 1980's: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations," NBER Working Papers 2983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Lejour, Arjan & Rojas Romasgosa, Hugo & Rodriguez, Victor & Montalvo, Carvos & Van der Zee, Frans, 2009. "Trade costs, Openness and Productivity: Market Access at Home and Abroad," MPRA Paper 21214, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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