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Skill-biased labor market reforms and international competitiveness

  • Schmerer, Hans-Jörg

This paper proposes a multi-industry trade model with integrated capital and goods markets. Labor market imperfections in line with Mortensen and Pissarides (Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment, 1994) give rise to unemployment and a channel for the government to influence markets through institutional changes. Labor market interventions feedback into the product market through changes in a country's competitiveness. Moreover, the distinction between high- and low-skill workers facilitates the analysis of skill-biased institutional changes that have stronger impact on certain skill groups. The comparative static exercise in this paper shows that high-skilled benefit from low-skill biased labor market reforms through higher wages. Lower labor costs reduce unemployment of the low-skilled and increases the reforming country's competitiveness. One-sided labor market interventions have feedback effects through adjustments at the extensive margin, which affect all workers at home and abroad irrespective of their level of skill. Governments in the non-reforming countries may react to this loss in competitiveness by initiating cooperative labor market reforms instead.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5018/economics-ejournal.ja.2012-37
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File URL: http://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/65284/1/727470957.pdf
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Article provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its journal Economics: The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal.

Volume (Year): 6 (2012)
Issue (Month): ()
Pages: 1-39

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Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifweej:201237
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  1. Susanna Iranzo & Fabiano Schivardi & Elisa Tosetti, 2006. "Skill dispersion and firm productivity; an analysis with employer-employee matched data," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 577, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
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  16. Mario Larch & Wolfgang Lechthaler, 2009. "Comparative Advantage and Skill-Specific Unemployment," CESifo Working Paper Series 2754, CESifo Group Munich.
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