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International Welfare And Employment Linkages Arising From Minimum Wages

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  • Hartmut Egger
  • Peter Egger
  • James R. Markusen

Abstract

We formulate a two-country model with monopolistic competition and heterogeneous firms to reconsider labor market linkages in open economies. Labor-market imperfections arise by virtue of country-specific real minimum wages. Two principal experiments are considered. First, we show that trade liberalization under minimum wages differs significantly from trade liberalization under standard assumptions. In the former case, there is effectively a perfectly elastic supply of labor to production whereas in the conventional case it is assumed that aggregate labor supply is perfectly inelastic. Standard effects on marginal and average firm productivity are reversed in our model, yet there are significant gains from trade arising from employment expansion, an effect quite different from the source of gains from trade in the conventional approach. Second, we show that with firm heterogeneity an increase in one country's minimum wage triggers firm exit in both countries and thus harms workers at home and abroad. In an extension to our baseline model, we illustrate that offshoring production from the high-wage to the low-wage country within multinational firms lowers the scope for exporting the costs of a higher minimum wage to the trading partner.
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Suggested Citation

  • Hartmut Egger & Peter Egger & James R. Markusen, 2012. "International Welfare And Employment Linkages Arising From Minimum Wages," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(3), pages 771-790, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:iecrev:v:53:y:2012:i:3:p:771-790
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1468-2354.2012.00700.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Stella Capuano & Hans-Jörg Schmerer, 2015. "Trade and Unemployment Revisited: Do Institutions Matter?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(7), pages 1037-1063, July.
    2. Chihiro Inaba & Katsufumi Fukuda, 2015. "Effects on the Cross-Country Difference in the Minimum Wage on International Trade, Growth and Unemployment," Discussion Paper Series DP2015-29, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
    3. Lommerud, Kjell Erik & Meland, Frode & Straume, Odd Rune, 2012. "North–South technology transfer in unionised multinationals," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 385-395.
    4. Egger, Hartmut & Etzel, Daniel, 2012. "The impact of trade on employment, welfare, and income distribution in unionized general oligopolistic equilibrium," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 1119-1135.
    5. Benedikt Heid & Mario Larch, 2012. "International Trade and Unemployment: A Quantitative Framework," CESifo Working Paper Series 4013, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Heid, Benedikt & Larch, Mario, 2016. "Gravity with unemployment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 70-85.
    7. Gabriel Felbermayr & Eckhard Janeba & Holger Görg & Ansgar Belke & Michael Pflüger & Stefan Ebner, 2010. "Schadet Deutschlands Exportpolitik den Nachbarn?," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 63(15), pages 03-24, August.
    8. Marco Pinto & Jochen Michaelis, 2014. "International Trade and Unemployment—the Worker-selection Effect," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(2), pages 226-252, May.
    9. Michael Koch, 2016. "Skills, Tasks and the Scarcity of Talent in a Global Economy," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(3), pages 536-563, August.
    10. Hartmut Egger & Frode Meland, 2011. "Product and Labor Market Deregulation in Unionized Oligopoly with Asymmetric Countries," CESifo Working Paper Series 3611, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. Felbermayr, Gabriel J. & Larch, Mario & Lechthaler, Wolfgang, 2012. "Endogenous labor market institutions in an open economy," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 30-45.
    12. Gan, Li & Hernandez, Manuel A. & Ma, Shuang, 2016. "The higher costs of doing business in China: Minimum wages and firms' export behavior," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 81-94.
    13. Ma, Shuang & Sun, Churen & Tian, Guoqiang, 2011. "Minimum wage and export: evidence from Chinese firm-level data," MPRA Paper 35098, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General

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