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Export Activity, Firm Size and Wage Structure: Evidence from Taiwanese Manufacturing Firms


  • Meng-Wen Tsou
  • Jin-Tan Liu
  • Cliff J. Huang


This study adopts a semiparametric smooth coefficient model to evaluate the export-wage premiums, firm size-wage premiums, and the wage gap between skilled and unskilled labor. Particular focus is placed upon widespread evidence indicating that pay levels in 'large' and 'export-oriented' firms are higher than in their 'small' and 'domestic-oriented' counterparts. Applying the firm-level data for Taiwanese manufacturing firms, we find a positive export-wage premium for skilled workers and a negative export-wage premium for unskilled workers. The hypothesis of a constant export premium across firm size is rejected. While most of the export-wage premiums for skilled labor can be attributed to the small and medium firms, the large exporting firms have a significant adverse effect on wages for unskilled labor. Moreover, our results suggest that the firm size-wage premiums for skilled workers are larger than those for unskilled workers. The wage gap between the two skill groups is also sensitive to size categories. Copyright 2006 East Asian Economic Association and Blackwell Publishing Ltd..

Suggested Citation

  • Meng-Wen Tsou & Jin-Tan Liu & Cliff J. Huang, 2006. "Export Activity, Firm Size and Wage Structure: Evidence from Taiwanese Manufacturing Firms ," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 333-354, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:asiaec:v:20:y:2006:i:4:p:333-354

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2000. "Non-Europe: The magnitude and causes of market fragmentation in the EU," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 136(2), pages 284-314, June.
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    3. MacKellar, Landis & Woergoetter, Andreas & Woerz, Julia, 2000. "Economic Development Problems of Landlocked Countries," Transition Economics Series 14, Institute for Advanced Studies.
    4. John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Mellinger, 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," CID Working Papers 1, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    5. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
    6. Soloaga, Isidro & Winters, L. Alan, 1999. "How has regionalism in the 1990s affected trade?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2156, The World Bank.
    7. Gallup, J.L. & Sachs, J.D. & Mullinger, A., 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," Papers 1, Chicago - Graduate School of Business.
    8. Anderson, James E, 1979. "A Theoretical Foundation for the Gravity Equation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 106-116, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. James E. Anderson, 2008. "Globalization and Income Distribution: A Specific Factors Continuum Approach," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 699, Boston College Department of Economics.
    2. Joachim Wagner, 2012. "International trade and firm performance: a survey of empirical studies since 2006," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 148(2), pages 235-267, June.
    3. Uwe Jirjahn & Kornelius Kraft, 2010. "Teamwork And Intra-Firm Wage Dispersion Among Blue-Collar Workers," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 57(4), pages 404-429, September.
    4. Nielsen, Ingrid & Smyth, Russell, 2008. "Who bears the burden of employer compliance with social security contributions? Evidence from Chinese firm level data," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 230-244, June.
    5. Fu, Dahai & Wu, Yanrui, 2013. "Export wage premium in China's manufacturing sector: A firm level analysis," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 182-196.
    6. Anderson, James E., 2011. "The specific factors continuum model, with implications for globalization and income risk," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 174-185.
    7. repec:bla:reviec:v:25:y:2017:i:3:p:447-475 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Marcel Fafchamps, 2009. "Human Capital, Exports, and Earnings," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(1), pages 111-141, October.
    9. Vu, Van Huong, 2012. "Does export participation affect wages and employment quality? the case of Vietnamese SMEs," MPRA Paper 38696, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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