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Trade, wages, and profits

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  • Egger, Hartmut
  • Egger, Peter
  • Kreickemeier, Udo

Abstract

This paper formulates a structural empirical model of heterogeneous firms whose workers exhibit fair-wage preferences. In the underlying theoretical framework, such preferences lead to a link between a firm's operating profits on the one hand and wages of workers employed by this firm on the other hand. The latter establishes an exporter wage premium, since exporters have higher profits, given their productivity, than non-exporting firms. We estimate the parameters of the model in a data-set of five European economies and find that, when evaluated at these parameter values, the model has a high level of explanatory power. The estimates also enable us to quantify the exporter wage premium and the consequences of trade for the main variables of interest. According to our results, openness to international trade contributes to greater inequality across firms in terms of both operating profits and average wages. We also find evidence for gains from trade for all five countries, which go along with negative, but quantitatively moderate, aggregate employment effects. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences in its series University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance with number 23.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:tuewef:23

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Keywords: structural models; heterogeneous firms; fair wages; labour market imperfections; exporter wage premium;

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Cited by:
  1. Hauptmann, Andreas & Schmerer, Hans-Jörg, 2013. "Do exporters pay fair-wage premiums?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(2), pages 179-182.
  2. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Hauptmann, Andreas & Schmerer, Hans-Jörg, 2012. "International trade and collective bargaining outcomes : evidence from German employer-employee data," IAB Discussion Paper 201207, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  3. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Impullitti, Giammario & Prat, Julien, 2014. "Firm Dynamics and Residual Inequality in Open Economies," CEPR Discussion Papers 9855, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Hartmut Egger & Udo Kreickemeier, 2008. "Fairness, Trade, and Inequality," CESifo Working Paper Series 2344, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Klein, Michael W. & Moser, Christoph & Urban, Dieter M., 2013. "Exporting, skills and wage inequality," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 76-85.
  6. Elhanan Helpman & Oleg Itskhoki & Marc-Andreas Muendler & Stephen Redding, 2012. "Trade and Inequality: From Theory to Estimation," CEP Discussion Papers dp1138, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.

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