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Income Inequality and Trade: How to Think, What to Conclude

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  • J. David Richardson

Abstract

Recent econometric work and growing analytical consensus suggest that exogenous international market pressures are a contributing factor to trends in U.S. wage/earnings inequality. Trade accounts for a share of these inequality trends close to or somewhat greater than its 10-15 percent share of economic activity, especially over medium-term horizons and dependent on precise definition. Trade is neither a trivial influence nor a dominant one. Evidence exists that its influence has declined slightly in the past decade, however. Rapid technological growth in exportable sectors seems more important.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:9:y:1995:i:3:p:33-55
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.9.3.33
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.9.3.33
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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