Unions, competition and international trade in general equilibrium
We develop a two-country, multi-sector model of oligopoly in which unionised and non-unionised sectors interact in general equilibrium. The model is used to study the impact of trade liberalisation, deunionisation and firm entry on wages in unionised and non-unionised sectors, and on welfare. We find that a shift from autarky to free trade increases non-union wages and welfare, whereas the effect on union wages is ambiguous. We also show that partial deunionisation leads to higher wages in both unionised and non-unionised sectors, but only increases welfare when the proportion of unionised sectors is sufficiently low. Finally, wages in non-unionised sectors necessarily increase with firm entry, while the response of union wages and welfare depends on the trade regime.
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