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Has International Trade Affected Workers’ Bargaining Power?

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  • Ellen Brock

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  • Sabien Dobbelaere

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate whether international trade has affected workers?wages and their bargaining power in particular in the Belgian manufacturing industry over the period 1987-1995 by relying on a rent-sharing framework. Using a sample of more than 12 000 firms, we find that international trade has an effect on workers?wages through changes in the firms?profits. Our regression results reveal that increased foreign competition in the form of lower export prices reduces both wages per worker and profits per worker. Besides, our findings indicate that technological change is an important determinant of the workers?(relative) bargaining power. Globalisation seems also to play some role.
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  • Ellen Brock & Sabien Dobbelaere, 2006. "Has International Trade Affected Workers’ Bargaining Power?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 142(2), pages 233-266, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:weltar:v:142:y:2006:i:2:p:233-266
    DOI: 10.1007/s10290-006-0066-8
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Rent sharing; international trade; instrumental variables; panel data;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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