Import Competition and Wages: The Roles of the Nontradable Goods Sector
Several investigators have studied the role of import competition in explaining wage behavior, with apparently conflicting results: Some have found a significant effect of import competition on wages in manufacturing, while others have found no such effect in the aggregate. This paper highlights the role of the nontradable goods sector--not addressed in previous studies--to reconcile these results. The model demonstrates that a fall in the relative price of tradable goods has an ambiguous effect on aggregate real wages: while the lower price of tradable goods leads to lower labor demand in the tradable sector, it also leads to higher labor demand in the nontradable sector. Empirical results show considerable support for the model when tradable goods prices are measured by import or export prices, but not when they are measured by the real exchange rate. Copyright 1993 by MIT Press.
Volume (Year): 75 (1993)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
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