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Multinational companies and wage inequality in the host country: the case of Ireland

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  • Figini, Paolo
  • Görg, Holger

Abstract

In this paper, we analyse the effects of multinational companies on wage inequality in the host country, studying the case of the Irish economy. Based on a model developed by Aghion and Howitt (1998), in which the introduction of new technologies leads to increasing demand for skilled labour and, therefore, to rising inequality, we conduct an econometric study using data for the Irish manufacturing sector between 1979 and 1995. We examine inequality between wages for skilled and unskilled labour within the same manufacturing sector. Our results indicate that there is an inverted-U relationship between wage inequality and the presence of multinationals, i.e., with increasing presence of multinationals, wage inequality first increases, reaches a maximum and decreases eventually, ceteris paribus.

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Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) in its series Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy with number 2344.

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Date of creation: 1999
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwkie:2344

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  1. Berman, Eli & Bound, John & Griliches, Zvi, 1994. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U.S. Manufacturing: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufactures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 367-97, May.
  2. Magnus Blomstrom & Jian-Ye Wang, 1992. "Foreign Investment and Technology Transfer: A Simple Model," NBER Working Papers 2958, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Gerry Boyle; & Pauline McCormack, 1998. "Trade and Technological Explanations for Changes in Sectoral Labour Demand in OECD Economies," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n770598, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
  4. Haskel, Jonathan & Slaughter, Matthew, 1999. "Trade, Technology and UK Wage Inequality," CEPR Discussion Papers 2091, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Machin, Steve & Van Reenen, John, 1996. "Technology and Changes in Skill Structure: Evidence from an International Panel of Industries," CEPR Discussion Papers 1434, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Markusen, James R & Venables, Anthony J, 1997. "The Role of Multinational Firms in the Wage-Gap Debate," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(4), pages 435-51, November.
  7. Hakura, D. & Deardorff, A.V., 1993. "Trade and Wages: What Are the Questions?," Working Papers 341, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  8. Findlay, Ronald, 1978. "Relative Backwardness, Direct Foreign Investment, and the Transfer of Technology: A Simple Dynamic Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 1-16, February.
  9. Barry, F & Bradley, J, 1997. ""FDI and Trade : The Irish Host-Country Experience"," Papers 97/13, College Dublin, Department of Political Economy-.
  10. Atkinson, A B, 1997. "Bringing Income Distribution in from the Cold," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(441), pages 297-321, March.
  11. Borjas, G.J. & Freeman, R.B. & Katz, L.F., 1991. "On The Labor Market Effects Of Immigration And Trade," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1556, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  12. Hausman, Jerry A, 1978. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1251-71, November.
  13. Breusch, T S & Pagan, A R, 1980. "The Lagrange Multiplier Test and Its Applications to Model Specification in Econometrics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 239-53, January.
  14. Paolo Figini & Holger Görg, 1998. "Multinational Companies and Wage Inequality in the Host Country: The Case of Ireland," Economics Technical Papers 9816, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  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. Wood, Adrian, 1995. "North-South Trade, Employment and Inequality: Changing Fortunes in a Skill-Driven World," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198290155, September.
  17. George E. Johnson, 1997. "Changes in Earnings Inequality: The Role of Demand Shifts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 41-54, Spring.
  18. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1995. "Foreign Direct Investment and Relative Wages: Evidence from Mexico's Maquiladoras," NBER Working Papers 5122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. repec:sae:niesru:v:166:y::i:1:p:78-86 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. 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.
  21. Gary Burtless, 1995. "International Trade and the Rise in Earnings Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(2), pages 800-816, June.
  22. Das, Sanghamitra, 1987. "Externalities, and technology transfer through multinational corporations A theoretical analysis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-2), pages 171-182, February.
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