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Skill Differentiation and Income Disparity in a Decentralized Matching Model of North-South Trade

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  • Hesham M. Abdel-Rahman

    ()
    (Department of Economics and Finance, University of New Orleans)

  • George Norman

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Tufts University)

  • Ping Wang

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University)

Abstract

This paper develops a North-South trade model in which the South produces food and the North produces both food and a high-tech good. Food production is undertaken by unskilled workers while the high-tech product is made only by horizontally differentiated skilled workers. Due to the possibility of a peer-group effect, we allow the unskilled workers in the North to be equally or more productive than in the South. Horizontal matching of skilled workers is generally imperfect and the skilled wages are determined by a symmetric Nash bargain. We characterize two different types of equilibrium: a closed-economy equilibrium without trade and a free trade equilibrium without labor mobility. We then extend the benchmark framework to consider the presence of transport costs. In all cases with trade, the equilibrium properties of goods pricing, the volume of trade and wage disparities are examined.

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File URL: http://www.accessecon.com/pubs/VUECON/vu01-w31.pdf
File Function: First version, 2001
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Vanderbilt University Department of Economics in its series Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers with number 0131.

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Date of creation: Dec 2001
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Handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:0131

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Web page: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/econ/wparchive/index.html

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Keywords: Skill heterogeneity and matching; North-South trade; wage inequality;

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References

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  1. Murphy, Kevin M & Welch, Finis, 1993. "Inequality and Relative Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 104-09, May.
  2. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1982. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 97-109, January.
  3. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2232, David K. Levine.
  4. J. David Richardson, 1995. "Income Inequality and Trade: How to Think, What to Conclude," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 33-55, Summer.
  5. Pissarides, C A, 1984. "Efficient Job Rejection," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(376a), pages 97-108, Supplemen.
  6. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  7. Abdel-Rahman, Hesham M. & Wang, Ping, 1997. "Social Welfare and Income Inequality in a System of Cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 462-483, May.
  8. Helsley, Robert W. & Strange, William C., 1990. "Matching and agglomeration economies in a system of cities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 189-212, September.
  9. Coulson, N Edward & Laing, Derek & Wang, Ping, 2001. "Spatial Mismatch in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(4), pages 949-72, October.
  10. Eric W. Bond & Kathleen Trask & Ping Wang, 2003. "Factor Accumulation and Trade: Dynamic Comparative Advantage with Endogenous Physical and Human Capital," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(3), pages 1041-1060, 08.
  11. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1980. "Search, Layoffs, and Labor Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(4), pages 652-72, August.
  12. Laing, Derek & Palivos, Theodore & Wang, Ping, 1995. "Learning, Matching and Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(1), pages 115-29, January.
  13. Fischer, Ronald D & Serra, Pablo, 1996. "Income Inequality and Choice of Free Trade in a Model of Intraindustry Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 41-64, February.
  14. Murphy, Kevin M & Topel, Robert H, 1997. "Unemployment and Nonemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 295-300, May.
  15. 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.
  16. Krugman, Paul, 1979. "A Model of Innovation, Technology Transfer, and the World Distribution of Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(2), pages 253-66, April.
  17. Diamond, Peter A, 1982. "Wage Determination and Efficiency in Search Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(2), pages 217-27, April.
  18. Stokey, Nancy L, 1991. "The Volume and Composition of Trade between Rich and Poor Countries," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(1), pages 63-80, January.
  19. 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.
  20. Edward E. Leamer, 1992. "Wage Effects of A U.S. - Mexican Free Trade Agreement," NBER Working Papers 3991, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. George Norman & Lynne Pepall & Dan Richards, 2001. "Versioning, Brand-Stretching, and the Evolution of e-Commerce Markets," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0114, Department of Economics, Tufts University.

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