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Trade between symmetric countries, heterogeneous firms, and the skill premium

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  • Gonzague Vannoorenberghe

Abstract

This paper examines the effects of trade liberalization between symmetric countries on the skill premium. I introduce skilled and unskilled labour in a model of trade with heterogeneous firms à la Melitz (2003) and assume a production technology such that more productive firms are more skill intensive. I show that the effects of trade liberalization on wage inequality crucially depend on the type of trade costs considered and on their initial size. While fixed costs of trade have a potentially non-monotonic effect on the skill premium, a drop in variable trade costs unambiguously and substantially raises wage inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Gonzague Vannoorenberghe, 2011. "Trade between symmetric countries, heterogeneous firms, and the skill premium," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 44(1), pages 148-170, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:44:y:2011:i:1:p:148-170
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Crozet, Matthieu & Trionfetti, Federico, 2013. "Firm-level comparative advantage," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 321-328.
    2. Julian Emami Namini & Ricardo A. López, 2013. "Factor price overshooting with trade liberalization: theory and evidence," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 60(2), pages 139-181, May.
    3. Kasahara, Hiroyuki & Liang, Yawen & Rodrigue, Joel, 2016. "Does importing intermediates increase the demand for skilled workers? Plant-level evidence from Indonesia," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 242-261.
    4. Emami Namini, Julian & Facchini, Giovanni & López, Ricardo A., 2013. "Export growth and firm survival," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(3), pages 481-486.
    5. Unjung Whang, 2016. "Skilled-Labor Intensity Differences Across Firms, Endogenous Product Quality, and Wage Inequality," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 251-292, April.
    6. Ferguson, Shon, 2012. "Cross-Industry Heterogeneity in Export Participation: The Role of Scale Economies in R&D," Working Paper Series 930, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    7. James Harrigan & Ariell Reshef, 2015. "Skill-biased heterogeneous firms, trade liberalization and the skill premium," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 48(3), pages 1024-1066, August.
    8. Montagna, Catia & Nocco, Antonella, 2012. "Trade Costs, International Competition and Selection: The Effects of Unionisation on Market Size," SIRE Discussion Papers 2012-52, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    9. Tanja Hennighausen, 2014. "Globalization and Income Inequality: The Role of Transmission Mechanisms," LIS Working papers 610, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    10. Gry Oystenstad & Wessel Vermeulen, 2015. "The Impact of Windfalls: Firm selection, trade and welfare," OxCarre Working Papers 162, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
    11. Engelmann, Sabine, 2011. "Trade liberalisation, technical change and skill-specific unemployment," IAB Discussion Paper 201119, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    12. Ariel Burstein & Jonathan Vogel, 2010. "Globalization, Technology, and the Skill Premium: A Quantitative Analysis," NBER Working Papers 16459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Mauro Caselli, 2014. "Trade, skill-biased technical change and wages in Mexican manufacturing," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(3), pages 336-348, January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions

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