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Le calcul usuel des effets du commerce international sur l'emploi : des principes fondamentalement erronés ?

Listed author(s):
  • François Gave
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    [fre] Cet article se propose de réexaminer les principes des calculs traditionnels du nombre d'emplois créés ou détruits par le commerce international dans une économie à prix rigides et à facteurs de production immobiles. Il tente d'abord de montrer que la principale méthode employée à cette fin - la méthode du contenu en emplois de la balance commerciale, dite encore du contenu factoriel des échanges — repose sur un fondement théorique douteux, qui paraît relever, soit d'une interprétation abusive de la théorie néoclassique, soit d'une intuition non justifiée au plan théorique. Puis, il propose une nouvelle forme de calcul des effets du commerce international sur l'emploi, qui s'appuie cette fois explicitement sur un modèle élémentaire de petite économie à deux biens-deux facteurs, avec des facteurs imparfaitement mobiles et des prix des facteurs rigides. Les résultats obtenus différent alors profondément de ceux déduits de la méthode du contenu factoriel des échanges, et apparaissent souvent contraires à l'intuition : le nombre d'emplois détruits ou créés par le commerce international est loin de ne dépendre que des contenus en emplois des échanges commerciaux ; l'accroissement des exportations n'implique plus une hausse des quantités de travail et de capital employés; l'accroissement des importations n'entraîne pas davantage une réduction du volume de travail et de capital employés. De nouvelles pistes de réflexion semblent ainsi s'ouvrir, qui devraient permettre, à terme, de mieux calculer l'impact du commerce international sur l'emploi. [eng] How many jobs are created or destroyed by international trade in a given economy? This article argues that the conventional method used to answer this question — the so- called "factor content of trade" method — is basically wrong: it seems theoretically inconsistent; and it is likely to lead to dubious estimations of the impact of international trade on employment. Accordingly, a reassessment of this impact is suggested in the familiar framework of a simple two- goods/ two factors model, the results of which seem strikingly different from those obtained from conventional calculations (even in their most sophisticated versions). A number of theoretical and empirical consequences follow from those results.

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    Article provided by Programme National Persée in its journal Revue française d'économie.

    Volume (Year): 11 (1996)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 111-135

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    Handle: RePEc:prs:rfreco:rfeco_0769-0479_1996_num_11_2_1006
    Note: DOI:10.3406/rfeco.1996.1006
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    1. Wood, Adrian, 1991. "How Much Does Trade with the South Affect Workers in the North?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 6(1), pages 19-36, January.
    2. Richard B. Freeman, 1995. "Are Your Wages Set in Beijing?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 15-32, Summer.
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