IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Firms’ main market, human capital, and wages

  • Francisco Alcalá


  • Pedro Hernández


Recent international trade literature emphasizes two features in characterizing the current patterns of trade: efficiency heterogeneity at the firm level and quality differentiation. This paper explores human capital and wage differences across firms in that context. We build a partial equilibrium model predicting that firms selling in more-remote markets employ higher human capital and pay higher wages to employees within each education group. The channel linking these variables is firms’ endogenous choice of quality. Predictions are tested using Spanish employer-employee matched data that classify firms according to four main destination markets: local, national, European Union, and rest of the World. Employees’ average education is increasing in the remoteness of firm’s main output market. Market–destination wage premia are large, increasing in the remoteness of the market, and increasing in individual education. These results suggest that increasing globalization may play a significant role in raising wage inequality within and across education groups.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Spanish Economic Association in its journal SERIEs.

Volume (Year): 1 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (September)
Pages: 433-458

in new window

Handle: RePEc:spr:series:v:1:y:2010:i:4:p:433-458
Contact details of provider: Postal: Universidad del País Vasco; DFAE II; Avenida Lehendakari Aguirre, 83; 48015 Bilbao; Spain
Phone: +34 94 6013783
Fax: + 34 94 6013774
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," CEP Discussion Papers dp0795, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Walter Y. Oi & Todd L. Idson, 1999. "Workers Are More Productive in Large Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 104-108, May.
  3. repec:oup:restud:v:77:y:2010:i:4:p:1450-1476 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Johnson, Robert C., 2012. "Trade and prices with heterogeneous firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 43-56.
  5. Amit Khandelwal, 2009. "The Long and Short (of) Quality Ladders," NBER Working Papers 15178, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2008. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence from French Firms," NBER Working Papers 14610, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Thierry Lallemand & Robert Plasman & François Rycx, 2005. "The establishment-size wage premium: evidence from European countries," DULBEA Working Papers 05-07.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  8. Kenneth R. Troske, 1998. "Evidence on the Employer Size-Wage Premium From Worker-Establishment Matched Data," Labor and Demography 9807001, EconWPA.
  9. David Greenaway & Richard Kneller, 2007. "Firm heterogeneity, exporting and foreign direct investment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(517), pages F134-F161, 02.
  10. Schank, Thorsten & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2008. "Higher wages in exporting firms: self-selection, export effect, or both? First evidence from German linked employer-employee data," Discussion Papers 55, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  11. Hallak, Juan Carlos & Sivadasan, Jagadeesh, 2008. "Productivity, quality and exporting behavior under minimum quality constraints," MPRA Paper 24146, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Andrew Bernard & Joachim Wagner, 1997. "Exports and success in German manufacturing," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 133(1), pages 134-157, March.
  13. David Hummels & Alexandre Skiba, 2004. "Shipping the Good Apples Out? An Empirical Confirmation of the Alchian-Allen Conjecture," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(6), pages 1384-1402, December.
  14. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2004. "Dissecting Trade: Firms, Industries, and Export Destinations," NBER Working Papers 10344, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Kenneth R. Troske & Kimberly Bayard, 1999. "Examining the Employer-Size Wage Premium in the Manufacturing, Retail Trade, and Service Industries Using Employer-Employee Matched Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 99-103, May.
  16. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Bradford J Jensen & Andrew B Bernard, 1994. "Exporters, Skill Upgrading And The Wage Gap," Working Papers 94-13, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  18. Thorsten Schank & Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2010. "Higher wages in exporting firms: self-selection, export effect, or both? First evidence from linked employer-employee data," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 146(2), pages 303-322, June.
  19. Lionel Fontagné & Guillaume Gaulier & Soledad Zignago, 2008. "Specialization across varieties and North-South competition," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 23, pages 51-91, 01.
  20. Yeaple, Stephen Ross, 2005. "A simple model of firm heterogeneity, international trade, and wages," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 1-20, January.
  21. Bernard, Andrew B. & Bradford Jensen, J., 1999. "Exceptional exporter performance: cause, effect, or both?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-25, February.
  22. Eric A. Verhoogen, 2008. "Trade, Quality Upgrading, and Wage Inequality in the Mexican Manufacturing Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 489-530.
  23. Kevin M.Shleifer Murphy & Andrei, 1991. "Quality and Trade," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 66, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  24. Munch, Jakob R. & Skaksen, Jan Rose, 2006. "Human Capital and Wages in Exporting Firms," IZA Discussion Papers 2409, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  25. Pierre Biscourp & Francis Kramarz, 2004. "Employment, Skill Structure and International Trade : Firm-level Evidence for France," Working Papers 2004-28, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  26. Flam, Harry & Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Vertical Product Differentiation and North-South Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 810-22, December.
  27. Thorsten Schank & Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2006. "Do exporters really pay higher wages? First evidence from German linked employer-employee data," Working Paper Series in Economics 28, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  28. Manasse, Paolo & Turrini, Alessandro, 2001. "Trade, wages, and 'superstars'," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 97-117, June.
  29. Battu, Harminder & Belfield, Clive R. & Sloane, Peter J., 2001. "Human Capital Spill-Overs Within the Workplace," IZA Discussion Papers 404, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  30. Mahmood Arai, 2003. "Wages, Profits, and Capital Intensity: Evidence from Matched Worker-Firm Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(3), pages 593-618, July.
  31. Baldwin, Richard & Harrigan, James, 2007. "Zeros, Quality and Space: Trade Theory and Trade Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 6368, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  32. repec:oup:qjecon:v:119:y:2004:i:2:p:646-677 is not listed on IDEAS
  33. Michael Baker & Nicole M. Fortin, 2000. "Occupational Gender Composition and Wages in Canada: 1987-1988," Working Papers baker-00-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  34. Nancy L. Stokey, 1991. "The Volume and Composition of Trade Between Rich and Poor Countries," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 63-80.
  35. Jonathan EATON, Samuel KORTUM, Francis KRAMARZ, 2008. "An Anatomy of International Trade : Evidence from French Firms” ~We examine the sales of French manufacturing ?rms in 113 destinations, including Franceitself. Several regularities stand out: (1) the ," Working Papers 2008-29, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  36. Maurin, Eric & Thesmar, David & Thoenig, Mathias, 2002. "Globalization and the demand for skill: An Export Based Channel," CEPR Discussion Papers 3406, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  37. Dolado, Juan J. & Felgueroso, Florentino & Jimeno, Juan F., 2000. "Youth labour markets in Spain: Education, training, and crowding-out," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 943-956, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:series:v:1:y:2010:i:4:p:433-458. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)

or (Christopher F Baum)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.