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Globalization and Labour-Market Adjustment: How Fast and at What Cost?

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  • Davidson, Carl
  • Matusz, Steven J

Abstract

In this paper we argue that the flexibility of an economy's labour market plays a role in determining the gains from trade liberalization, the level of short-run adjustment costs, and the relative value of these two measures. To do so, we describe the model introduced in Davidson and Matusz (2000) which allows us to solve for adjustment costs when workers vary according to ability and jobs differ in terms of the skills that they require. We then report results based on simulations of this model. We find that economies with sluggish labour markets have the least to gain from liberalization. The reason is that while the removal of trade barriers creates large benefits, they are almost completely offset by large short-run adjustment costs. In contrast, we find that with either very flexible or very slothful labour market gains from liberalization are always significantly larger than the short-run adjustment costs. Copyright 2000 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Davidson, Carl & Matusz, Steven J, 2000. "Globalization and Labour-Market Adjustment: How Fast and at What Cost?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(3), pages 42-56, Autumn.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxford:v:16:y:2000:i:3:p:42-56
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bernard Hoekman, 2004. "Policies Facilitating Firm Adjustment to Globalization," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(3), pages 457-473, Autumn.
    2. Holger Görg & Aoife Hanley, 2011. "Services Outsourcing And Innovation: An Empirical Investigation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(2), pages 321-333, April.
    3. Ganeshan Wignaraja & Jens Krüger & Anna Mae Tuazon, 2013. "Production Networks, Profits, and Innovative Activity : Evidence from Malaysia and Thailand," Microeconomics Working Papers 23391, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    4. Artuc, Erhan & Lederman, Daniel & Porto, Guido, 2015. "A mapping of labor mobility costs in the developing world," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 28-41.
    5. Osman, Rehab Osman Mohamed, 2012. "The EU Economic Partnership Agreements with Southern Africa: a computable general equilibrium analysis," Economics PhD Theses 0412, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    6. Bacchetta, Marc & Jansen, Marion, 2003. "Adjusting to trade liberalization: The role of policy, institutions and WTO Disciplines," WTO Special Studies, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division, volume 7, number 7.
    7. Dr Kaniz Siddique, 2003. "Deceleration in the Export Sector of Bangladesh and Women Workers: Assessing Impacts and Identifying Coping Strategies," CPD Working Paper 26, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).
    8. Dorothee Flaig & Harald Grethe & Scott McDonald & Khalid Siddig, 2012. "Intersectoral factor movements: do adjustment costs matter for welfare?," EcoMod2012 4418, EcoMod.
    9. R J R Elliott & J Lindley, 2003. "Trade, Skills and Adjustment Costs: A Study of Intra-Sectoral Labour Mobility in the UK," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0312, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    10. Rossana Patrón, 2012. "Short-term specificity and training: Key issues for economic restructuring," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 0212, Department of Economics - dECON.

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