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Have Falling Tariffs and Transportation Costs Raised US Wage Inequality?

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  • Jonathan E. Haskel
  • Matthew J. Slaughter

Abstract

To gauge the effect of international trade on the rising US skill premium, the paper analyzes the sector bias of price changes induced by changes in US tariffs and transportation costs. It is found that, in both the 1970s and 1980s, cuts in tariffs and transportation cost levels were concentrated in unskilled‐intensive sectors. Despite this suggestive evidence, the authors estimate that price changes induced by tariffs or transportation costs mandated a rise in inequality that was mostly statistically insignificant. Thus, they do not find strong evidence that falling tariffs and transport costs, working through price changes, mandated rises in inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan E. Haskel & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2003. "Have Falling Tariffs and Transportation Costs Raised US Wage Inequality?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(4), pages 630-650, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:11:y:2003:i:4:p:630-650
    DOI: 10.1111/1467-9396.00408
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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