IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Globalization, product differentiation, and wage inequality

  • Paulo Bastos
  • Odd Rune Straume

This paper develops a two-country, general equilibrium model of oligopoly in which the degree of horizontal product differentiation is endogenously determined by firms' strategic investments in product innovation. Consumers seek variety and product innovation is more skill intensive than production. Stronger import competition increases innovation incentives, and thereby the relative demand for skill. An intra-industry trade expansion following trade liberalization can therefore increase wage inequality between skilled and unskilled workers. As long as some industries remain shielded from international competition, the welfare implications of globalization are found to be generally ambiguous.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: Full text
Download Restriction: Available to subscribers only. Alternative access through JSTOR and Ingenta.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Canadian Economics Association in its journal Canadian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 45 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 857-878

in new window

Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:45:y:2012:i:3:p:857-878
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Canadian Economics Association Prof. Steven Ambler, Secretary-Treasurer c/o Olivier Lebert, CEA/CJE/CPP Office C.P. 35006, 1221 Fleury Est Montréal, Québec, Canada H2C 3K4

Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. James Brander & Paul Krugman, 1982. "A 'Reciprocal Dumping' Model of International Trade," Working Papers 513, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  2. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Nina Pavcnik, 2007. "Distributional Effects of Globalization in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(1), pages 39-82, March.
  3. James Brander, 1980. "Intra-Industry Trade in Identical Commodities," Working Papers 380, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  4. Donald R. Davis, 1996. "Trade Liberalization and Income Distribution," NBER Working Papers 5693, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. J. Peter Neary, 2004. "Cross-border mergers as instruments of comparative advantage," Working Papers 200404, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  6. Mathias Thoenig, 2000. "Trade Induced Technical Bias and Wage Inequalities: A Theory of Defensive Innovation," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1931, Econometric Society.
  7. Straume, O.R., 1999. "Union Collusion and Intra-Industry Trade," Norway; Department of Economics, University of Bergen 1399, Department of Economics, University of Bergen.
  8. Paulo Bastos & Udo Kreickemeier, . "Unions, Competition and International Trade in General Equilibrium," Discussion Papers 08/28, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  9. Paula Bustos, 2005. "The impact of trade liberalization on skill upgrading. Evidence from Argentina," Economics Working Papers 1189, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jul 2011.
  10. Dinopoulos, Elias & Segerstrom, Paul, 1996. "A Schumpeterian Model of Protection and Relative Wages," Working Paper Series 471, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  11. J. Peter Neary, 2001. "Foreign competition and wage inequality," Working Papers 200102, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  12. Naylor, Robin, 1998. "International trade and economic integration when labour markets are generally unionised," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(7), pages 1251-1267, July.
  13. Marianne Bertrand, 1999. "From the Invisible Handshake to the Invisible Hand? How Import Competition Changes the Employment Relationship," NBER Working Papers 6900, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Lin, Ping & Saggi, Kamal, 2002. "Product differentiation, process R&D, and the nature of market competition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 201-211, January.
  15. Naylor, Robin, 1999. "Union Wage Strategies and International Trade," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(452), pages 102-25, January.
  16. Straume, Odd Rune, 2003. "International mergers and trade liberalisation: implications for unionised labour," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 717-735, May.
  17. Lommerud, Kjell Erik & Meland, Frode & Sørgard, Lars, 2001. "Unionized Oligopoly, Trade Liberalization and Location Choice," CEPR Discussion Papers 2990, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Eric A. Verhoogen, 2008. "Trade, Quality Upgrading, and Wage Inequality in the Mexican Manufacturing Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 489-530.
  19. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2004. "Globalization and the gains from variety," Staff Reports 180, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  20. Helpman, Elhanan, 1981. "International trade in the presence of product differentiation, economies of scale and monopolistic competition : A Chamberlin-Heckscher-Ohlin approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 305-340, August.
  21. Ana L. Revenga, 1992. "Exporting Jobs?The Impact of Import Competition on Employment and Wages in U. S. Manufacturing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 255-284.
  22. Paul Krugman, 2009. "The Increasing Returns Revolution in Trade and Geography," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 561-71, June.
  23. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Daron Acemoglu, 1999. "Patterns of Skill Premia," NBER Working Papers 7018, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Ekholm, Karolina & Midelfart, Karen Helene, 2005. "Relative wages and trade-induced changes in technology," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1637-1663, August.
  26. Bloom, Nicholas & Draca, Mirko & Van Reenen, John, 2011. "Trade induced technical change? The impact of Chinese imports on innovation, IT and productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 8236, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  27. Bastos, Paulo & Kreickemeier, Udo & Wright, Peter, 2009. "Oligopoly, open shop unions and trade liberalisation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 679-686, November.
  28. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 64, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  29. Lancaster, Kelvin, 1980. "Intra-industry trade under perfect monopolistic competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 151-175, May.
  30. Michael Spence, 1976. "Product Selection, Fixed Costs, and Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(2), pages 217-235.
  31. Krugman, Paul R., 1979. "Increasing returns, monopolistic competition, and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 469-479, November.
  32. Yeaple, Stephen Ross, 2005. "A simple model of firm heterogeneity, international trade, and wages," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 1-20, January.
  33. Bertschek, Irene, 1995. "Product and Process Innovation as a Response to Increasing Import and Foreign Direct Investment," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(4), pages 341-57, December.
  34. Ana Margarida Fernandes & Caroline Paunov, 2010. "Does Trade Stimulate Innovation?: Evidence from Firm-Product Data," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 286, OECD Publishing.
  35. Daniel M. Bernhofen, 2001. "Product differentiation, competition, and international trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(4), pages 1010-1023, November.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:45:y:2012:i:3:p:857-878. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Prof. Werner Antweiler)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.