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Rigid labour markets with trade and capital mobility: theory and evidence

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  • Peter Egger
  • David Greenaway
  • Tobias Seidel

Abstract

We develop a multi-country model with imperfect labour markets to study the effect of labour market frictions on bilateral trade flows. We use a framework that allows for goods trade and capital mobility and show that labour market imperfections exert opposite effects in the absence of capital mobility (the short run) and its presence (the long run), respectively. In the short run, a higher degree of labour market rigidity decreases the value of total trade, but increases the share of intra-industry trade for a country that is larger than its trading partner. The reverse effects are observed when capital is allowed to cross country borders. Using data on unemployment and income distribution for 23 OECD countries, we compute the central parameter in our theoretical model that describes the degree of labour market rigidity. We use this new empirical concept to provide evidence for our theoretical findings by means of reduced-form regressions as well as simulation results of a calibrated general equilibrium model.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Egger & David Greenaway & Tobias Seidel, 2011. "Rigid labour markets with trade and capital mobility: theory and evidence," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 44(2), pages 509-540, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:44:y:2011:i:2:p:509-540
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Egger, Hartmut & Egger, Peter & Kreickemeier, Udo, 2013. "Trade, wages, and profits," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 332-350.
    2. Schmerer, Hans-Jörg, 2012. "FDI, skill-specific unemployment, and institutional spillover effects," Economics Discussion Papers 2012-2, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    3. Deininger, Klaus & Jin, Songqing & Xia, Fang & Huang, Jikun, 2014. "Moving Off the Farm: Land Institutions to Facilitate Structural Transformation and Agricultural Productivity Growth in China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 505-520.
    4. Jayjit Roy, 2016. "Employment Protection Legislation and International Trade," Working Papers 16-06, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
    5. Schmerer, Hans-Jörg, 2012. "Skill-biased labor market reforms and international competitiveness," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 6, pages 1-39.

    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
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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