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Relative wages and trade-induced changes in technology

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  • Ekholm, Karolina
  • Midelfart, Karen Helene

Abstract

We develop a model where trade liberalization leads to skill-biased technological change, which in turn raises the relative return to skilled labour. As firms get access to a larger market, they have incentives to choose a more skill-intensive technology because a lowering of variable costs requires additional use of skilled labour. This way, we establish a link between trade, technology and relative returns to skilled and unskilled labour. Moreover, we show that as market integration continues and trade costs fall below a certain threshold, the relative return to skilled labour may fall.
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Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:49:y:2005:i:6:p:1637-1663
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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