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International Trade and Unemployment—the Worker-selection Effect

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  • Marco Pinto
  • Jochen Michaelis

Abstract

This paper investigates the labor market effects of trade liberalization. We incorporate trade unions and heterogeneous workers into the Melitz framework. Workers differ with respect to their abilities. Our main findings are: (i) trade liberalization harms low-ability workers, they lose their job and switch to long-term unemployment (worker-selection effect); (ii) high-ability workers are better off in terms of both higher wages and higher employment; (iii) if a country is endowed with a large fraction of low-ability workers, trade liberalization leads to a rise in aggregate unemployment—in this case, trade liberalization may harm a country's welfare; (iv) the overall employment and welfare effect crucially hinges on the characteristics of the wage bargain.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Pinto & Jochen Michaelis, 2014. "International Trade and Unemployment—the Worker-selection Effect," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(2), pages 226-252, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:22:y:2014:i:2:p:226-252
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    Cited by:

    1. Halit Yanikkaya, 2013. "Is trade liberalization a solution to the unemployment problem?," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer;Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestao, vol. 12(1), pages 57-85, April.
    2. Marco Pinto & Jochen Michaelis, 2016. "The labor market effects of trade unions in an open economy: Layard meets Melitz," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 223-232, April.
    3. repec:bla:worlde:v:40:y:2017:i:7:p:1494-1512 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Marco Pinto, 2016. "Redistribution of Trade Gains in the Presence of Firm and Worker Heterogeneity," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(9), pages 1360-1383, September.
    5. Marco de Pinto, 2012. "Unemployment Benefits as Redistribution Scheme of Trade Gains - a Positive Analysis," FIW Working Paper series 092, FIW.
    6. Marco de Pinto, 2012. "Unemployment Benefits as Redistribution Scheme of Trade Gains - a Positive Analysis," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201210, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    7. Marco de Pinto, 2015. "The Redistribution of Trade Gains When Income Inequality Matters," Economies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(4), pages 1-30, October.
    8. de Pinto, Marco, 2012. "Unemployment Benefits as Redistribution Scheme of Trade Gains - a Positive Analysis," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 66059, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    9. Jochen Michaelis & Marco de Pinto, 2014. "The labor market effects of trade unions - Layard meets Melitz," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201406, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    10. Marco de Pinto, 2012. "Unemployment Benefits as Redistribution Scheme for Trade Gains - A Positive Analysis," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201204, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    11. Marco de Pinto, 2012. "The Redistribution of Trade Gains and the Equity-Efficiency Trade-Off," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201206, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    12. Ulrich Zierahn, 2012. "The effect of market access on the labor market: Evidence from German reunification," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201239, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • J5 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining

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