Trade Openness: New Evidence for Labor-Demand Elasticity in Pakistan's Manufacturing Sector
This study is an attempt to investigate trade–labor market linkages in Pakistan. Our main hypothesis that trade liberalization leads to an increase in labor-demand elasticity is empirically verified using a panel data approach for the period 1970/71–2000/01 for 22 selected manufacturing industries in Pakistan. We use ordinary least squares to estimate models in levels and first-differences, in addition to a fixed effects model. Overall, our findings suggest weak evidence of increased labor-demand elasticity as a result of trade liberalization in Pakistan’s manufacturing sector. Nor does the study find support for a positive labor market and trade linkage from an employment point of view—as otherwise suggested by standard trade theory. This may be due to increased capital intensity in the manufacturing sector by time, and the infusion of new technology. It could also be attributed to labor market imperfections preventing trade liberalization from favorably influencing employment conditions in Pakistan. Our policy recommendations based on the study’s results stress the need for skill enhancement measures to increase labor productivity, helping it become competitive according to the demands of globalization.
Volume (Year): 16 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (Jul-Dec)
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