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Trade Liberalization, Skill-linked Intermediate Production and the Two-sided Wage Gap

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  • Sugata Marjit
  • Rajat Acharyya

Abstract

A rising wage-gap, almost universally, in the last two decades has contradicted the age-old conventional wisdom of asymmetric wage movements across nations when trade is liberalized. We offer an explanation that fits well with the emerging trade pattern between the developed and more advanced developing countries like India and Mexico. We argue that a tariff reduction in the South on imports of an intermediate good from the North may raise the wage-gap in both the North and the South. The price of the intermediate good moving in different directions and different factor-intensity-ranking of this good relative to the two different final goods produced in the two countries underlie this result. Rising wage inequality may specially affect the South because educational expenses and infrastructure do not allow ready transformation of the vast masses of unskilled workers into skilled workers. Hence, the policy lesson of the paper seems to be more public effort in arranging for smoother acquisition of human capital by the unskilled.

Suggested Citation

  • Sugata Marjit & Rajat Acharyya, 2006. "Trade Liberalization, Skill-linked Intermediate Production and the Two-sided Wage Gap," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(3), pages 203-217.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jpolrf:v:9:y:2006:i:3:p:203-217
    DOI: 10.1080/13841280600911584
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Feenstra, R.C. & Hanson, G.H., 1995. "Foreign Investment, Outsourcing and Relative Wages," Papers 95-14, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
    2. Daron Acemoglu, 2003. "Patterns of Skill Premia," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 199-230.
    3. Donald R. Davis, 1996. "Trade Liberalization and Income Distribution," NBER Working Papers 5693, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Robert Feenstra & Gordon Hanson, 2001. "Global Production Sharing and Rising Inequality: A Survey of Trade and Wages," NBER Working Papers 8372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Gupta Manash Ranjan & Dutta Priya Brata, 2014. "Skilled-Unskilled Wage Inequality, Growth of Skilled Labour and Development Policies," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-26, June.
    2. Acharyya, Rajat, 2011. "A note on quantitative trade restrictions, income effects and wage inequality," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 2628-2633.
    3. Gupta, Manash Ranjan & Dutta, Priya Brata, 2010. "Skilled-unskilled wage inequality, nontraded good and endogenous supply of skilled labour: A theoretical analysis," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 923-934, September.
    4. Pi, Jiancai & Zhou, Yu, 2013. "Institutional quality and skilled–unskilled wage inequality," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 356-363.
    5. Gupta, Manash Ranjan & Dutta, Priya Brata, 2012. "Skilled–unskilled wage inequality, product variety, public input and increasing returns: A static general equilibrium analysis," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 502-513.
    6. Toru Kikuchi & Sugata Marjit & Biswajit Mandal, 2013. "Trade with Time Zone Differences: Factor Market Implications," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(4), pages 699-711, November.
    7. Acharyya, Rajat, 2010. "Successive Trade Liberalization and Wage Inequality," MPRA Paper 30158, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Acharyya, Rajat, 2004. "Product Standards, Exports and Employment An Analytical Study," MPRA Paper 30160, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Gupta, Manash Ranjan & Dutta, Priya Brata, 2011. "Skilled-unskilled wage inequality and unemployment: A general equilibrium analysis," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 1977-1983, July.
    10. Mandal, Biswajit & Marjit, Sugata, 2010. "Corruption and wage inequality?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 166-172, January.
    11. repec:eee:reveco:v:49:y:2017:i:c:p:582-595 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Gupta, Manash Ranjan & Dutta, Priya Brata, 2010. "Skilled-unskilled wage inequality: A general equilibrium analysis," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(4), pages 247-263, December.

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