IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/eecrev/v55y2011i6p741-758.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Trade and unemployment: What do the data say?

Author

Listed:
  • Felbermayr, Gabriel
  • Prat, Julien
  • Schmerer, Hans-Jörg

Abstract

This paper documents a robust empirical regularity: in the long-run, higher trade openness is associated with a lower structural rate of unemployment. We establish this fact using: (i) panel data from 20 OECD countries, (ii) cross-sectional data on a larger set of countries. The time structure of the panel data allows us to control for unobserved heterogeneity, whereas cross-sectional data make it possible to instrument openness by its geographical component. In both setups, we purge the data of business cycle effects, include a host of institutional and geographical variables, and control for within-country trade. Our main finding is robust to various definitions of unemployment rates and openness measures. Our benchmark specification suggests that a 10 percentage point increase in total trade openness reduces aggregate unemployment by about three quarters of one percentage point.

Suggested Citation

  • Felbermayr, Gabriel & Prat, Julien & Schmerer, Hans-Jörg, 2011. "Trade and unemployment: What do the data say?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(6), pages 741-758, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:55:y:2011:i:6:p:741-758
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014292111000274
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dinopoulos, Elias & Thompson, Peter, 2000. "Endogenous growth in a cross-section of countries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 335-362, August.
    2. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Prat, Julien & Schmerer, Hans-Jörg, 2011. "Trade and unemployment: What do the data say?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(6), pages 741-758, August.
    3. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Prat, Julien & Schmerer, Hans-Jörg, 2011. "Globalization and labor market outcomes: Wage bargaining, search frictions, and firm heterogeneity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(1), pages 39-73, January.
    4. Gabriel Felbermayr & Julien Prat, 2011. "Product Market Regulation, Firm Selection, And Unemployment," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 278-317, April.
    5. Epifani, Paolo & Gancia, Gino A., 2005. "Trade, migration and regional unemployment," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 625-644, November.
    6. Andrew Rose, 2005. "Which International Institutions Promote International Trade?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(4), pages 682-698, September.
    7. Benhabib, Jess & Spiegel, Mark M., 2005. "Human Capital and Technology Diffusion," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 13, pages 935-966 Elsevier.
    8. Andrea Bassanini & Romain Duval, 2006. "Employment Patterns in OECD Countries: Reassessing the Role of Policies and Institutions," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 486, OECD Publishing.
    9. Hartmut Egger & Udo Kreickemeier, 2017. "International Fragmentation: Boon or Bane for Domestic Employment?," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: International Trade and Labor Markets Welfare, Inequality and Unemployment, chapter 9, pages 237-263 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    10. Enrico Spolaore & Alberto Alesina & Romain Wacziarg, 2000. "Economic Integration and Political Disintegration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1276-1296, December.
    11. Elhanan Helpman & Oleg Itskhoki, 2010. "Labour Market Rigidities, Trade and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(3), pages 1100-1137.
    12. Blanchard, Olivier & Wolfers, Justin, 2000. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages 1-33, March.
    13. Olivier Blanchard & Francesco Giavazzi, 2003. "Macroeconomic Effects of Regulation and Deregulation in Goods and Labor Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 879-907.
    14. Francisco Alcalá & Antonio Ciccone, 2004. "Trade and Productivity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(2), pages 613-646.
    15. Juan C. Botero & Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "The Regulation of Labor," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1339-1382.
    16. Davidson, Carl & Martin, Lawrence & Matusz, Steven, 1999. "Trade and search generated unemployment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 271-299, August.
    17. Olivier Blanchard, 2006. "European unemployment: the evolution of facts and ideas," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 21(45), pages 5-59, January.
    18. Alberto F. Ades & Edward L. Glaeser, 1999. "Evidence on Growth, Increasing Returns, and the Extent of the Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 1025-1045.
    19. Dutt, Pushan & Mitra, Devashish & Ranjan, Priya, 2009. "International trade and unemployment: Theory and cross-national evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 32-44, June.
    20. Stephen Nickell & Luca Nunziata & Wolfgang Ochel, 2005. "Unemployment in the OECD Since the 1960s. What Do We Know?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 1-27, January.
    21. Francisco Rodriguez & Dani Rodrik, 2001. "Trade Policy and Economic Growth: A Skeptic's Guide to the Cross-National Evidence," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 261-338 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Hartmut Egger & Udo Kreickemeier, 2017. "Firm Heterogeneity and the Labor Market Effects of Trade Liberalization," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: International Trade and Labor Markets Welfare, Inequality and Unemployment, chapter 10, pages 265-306 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    23. Krugman, Paul R, 1993. "What Do Undergrads Need to Know about Trade?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 23-26, May.
    24. J. M. C. Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2006. "The Log of Gravity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 641-658, November.
    25. Costain, James S. & Reiter, Michael, 2008. "Business cycles, unemployment insurance, and the calibration of matching models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 1120-1155, April.
    26. Elhanan Helpman & Oleg Itskhoki & Stephen Redding, 2010. "Inequality and Unemployment in a Global Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(4), pages 1239-1283, July.
    27. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
    28. Christopher A. Pissarides & Giovanna Vallanti, 2007. "The Impact Of Tfp Growth On Steady-State Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(2), pages 607-640, May.
    29. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
    30. Davis, Donald R, 1998. "Does European Unemployment Prop Up American Wages? National Labor Markets and Global Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 478-494, June.
    31. Herwig Immervoll & Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Claus Thustrup Kreiner & Emmanuel Saez, 2007. "Welfare reform in European countries: a microsimulation analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(516), pages 1-44, January.
    32. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Comparative Advantage and Heterogeneous Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 31-66.
    33. Dean Baker & Andrew Glyn & David Howell & John Schmitt, 2002. "Labor Market Institutions and Unemployment: A Critical Assessment of the Cross-Country Evidence," SCEPA working paper series. SCEPA's main areas of research are macroeconomic policy, inequality and poverty, and globalization. 2002-17, Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA), The New School.
    34. Carl Davidson & Steven J. Matusz, 2004. "International Trade and Labor Markets: Theory, Evidence, and Policy Implications," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number itlm, November.
    35. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
    36. Davidson, Carl & Martin, Lawrence & Matusz, Steven, 1988. "The Structure of Simple General Equilibrium Models with Frictional Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(6), pages 1267-1293, December.
    37. Richard A. Brecher, 1974. "Minimum Wage Rates and the Pure Theory of International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 88(1), pages 98-116.
    38. Andrea Bassanini & Romain Duval, 2009. "Unemployment, institutions, and reform complementarities: re-assessing the aggregate evidence for OECD countries," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(1), pages 40-59, Spring.
    39. Emmanuel Saez, 2002. "Optimal Income Transfer Programs: Intensive versus Extensive Labor Supply Responses," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 1039-1073.
    40. Elhanan Helpman & Oleg Itskhoki & Stephen Redding, 2008. "Wages, Unemployment and Inequality with Heterogeneous Firms and Workers," NBER Working Papers 14122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    41. Krugman, Paul R, 1993. "The Narrow and Broad Arguments for Free Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 362-366, May.
    42. Hervé Boulhol, 2008. "Unemployment and interactions between trade and labour market institutions," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne bla08016, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    43. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    44. Koskela, Erkki & Stenbacka, Rune, 2010. "Equilibrium unemployment with outsourcing and wage solidarity under labour market imperfections," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 376-392, April.
    45. Mark P. Moore & Priya Ranjan, 2005. "Globalisation vs Skill-Biased Technological Change: Implications for Unemployment and Wage Inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(503), pages 391-422, April.
    46. Noguer, Marta & Siscart, Marc, 2005. "Trade raises income: a precise and robust result," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 447-460, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    International trade Real openness Unemployment GMM models IV estimation;

    JEL classification:

    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:55:y:2011:i:6:p:741-758. 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: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.