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Costs and benefits of trade shocks: Evidence from Chilean local labor markets

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  • César, Andrés
  • Falcone, Guillermo
  • Gasparini, Leonardo

Abstract

We study Chile’s labor market responses to trade shocks during 1996–2006, exploiting spatial and time variations in trade exposure arising from initial differences in industry specialization across local labor markets and the evolution of shocks across industries. We take advantage of China’s supply and demand’s worldwide shocks to instrument for Chinese import competition and demand for Chilean exports. Our main finding is that increasing manufacturing import competition implied a significant rise in labor informality in more exposed local markets, especially among young and unskilled workers. These groups also suffered significant relative wage losses. Meanwhile, locations that benefited most from the increased demand for primary products experienced a relative increase in employment, particularly among young individuals, and reallocation from self-employment towards salaried jobs in the formal sector, along with relative wage gains among old-age workers. Interestingly, these areas experienced a smaller increase in tertiary education enrollment rates than less exposed areas.

Suggested Citation

  • César, Andrés & Falcone, Guillermo & Gasparini, Leonardo, 2021. "Costs and benefits of trade shocks: Evidence from Chilean local labor markets," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:73:y:2021:i:c:s092753712100110x
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2021.102075
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Trade shocks; Local labor markets; Employment; Informality; Chile;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • Q02 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Commodity Market
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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