IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cen/wpaper/14-07.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Globalization And Top Income Shares

Author

Listed:
  • Lin Ma

Abstract

How does globalization affect the income gaps between the rich and the poor? This paper presents a new piece of empirical evidence showing that access to the global market, either through exporting or through multinational production, is associated with a higher executive-to-worker pay ratio within the firm. It then builds a model with heterogeneous firms, occupational choice, and executive compensation to model analytically and assess quantitatively the impact of globalization on the income gaps between the rich and the poor. The key mechanism is that the “gains from trade” are not distributed evenly within the same firm. The compensation of an executive is positively linked to the size of the firm, while the wage paid to the workers is determined in a country- wide labor market. Any extra profit earned in the foreign markets benefits the executives more than the average worker. Counterfactual exercises suggest that this new channel is quantitatively important for the observed surge in top income shares in the data. Using the changes in the volume of trade and multinational firm sales, the model can explain around 33 percent of the surge in top income shares over the past two decades in the United States.

Suggested Citation

  • Lin Ma, 2014. "Globalization And Top Income Shares," Working Papers 14-07, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:14-07
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www2.census.gov/ces/wp/2014/CES-WP-14-07.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2014
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2003. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1268-1290, September.
    2. Ariel Burstein & Jonathan Vogel, 2017. "International Trade, Technology, and the Skill Premium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(5), pages 1356-1412.
    3. Keller, Wolfgang & Olney, William W., 2021. "Globalization and executive compensation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(C).
    4. Caselli, Francesco, 2005. "Accounting for Cross-Country Income Differences," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 9, pages 679-741, Elsevier.
    5. Benjamin Friedrich, 2015. "Trade Shocks, Firm Hierarchies and Wage Inequality," Economics Working Papers 2015-26, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    6. Domowitz, Ian & Hubbard, R Glenn & Petersen, Bruce C, 1988. "Market Structure and Cyclical Fluctuations in U.S. Manufacturing," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(1), pages 55-66, February.
    7. Bernard, Andrew B. & Bradford Jensen, J., 1999. "Exceptional exporter performance: cause, effect, or both?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-25, February.
    8. Carola Frydman & Raven E. Saks, 2010. "Executive Compensation: A New View from a Long-Term Perspective, 1936--2005," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(5), pages 2099-2138.
    9. Xavier Gabaix & Augustin Landier, 2008. "Why has CEO Pay Increased So Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(1), pages 49-100.
    10. Jorge Alvarez & Felipe Benguria & Niklas Engbom & Christian Moser, 2018. "Firms and the Decline in Earnings Inequality in Brazil," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 149-189, January.
    11. Vicente Cuñat & Maria Guadalupe, 2009. "Globalization and the Provision of Incentives inside the Firm: The Effect of Foreign Competition," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 179-212, April.
    12. Anthony B. Atkinson & Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "Top Incomes in the Long Run of History," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(1), pages 3-71, March.
    13. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2011. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence From French Firms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(5), pages 1453-1498, September.
    14. di Giovanni, Julian & Levchenko, Andrei A. & Rancière, Romain, 2011. "Power laws in firm size and openness to trade: Measurement and implications," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 42-52, September.
    15. Jon Bakija & Adam Cole & Bradley Heim, 2008. "Jobs and Income Growth of Top Earners and the Causes of Changing Income Inequality: Evidence from U.S. Tax Return Data," Department of Economics Working Papers 2010-22, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised Jan 2012.
    16. Alesina, Alberto & Perotti, Roberto, 1996. "Income distribution, political instability, and investment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1203-1228, June.
    17. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    18. David H. Autor & David Dorn & Gordon H. Hanson, 2013. "The China Syndrome: Local Labor Market Effects of Import Competition in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2121-2168, October.
    19. Yeaple, Stephen Ross, 2005. "A simple model of firm heterogeneity, international trade, and wages," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 1-20, January.
    20. Simonovska, Ina & Waugh, Michael E., 2014. "The elasticity of trade: Estimates and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 34-50.
    21. Hartmut Egger & Udo Kreickemeier, 2017. "Fairness, Trade, and Inequality," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: International Trade and Labor Markets Welfare, Inequality and Unemployment, chapter 12, pages 339-380, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    22. Feenstra, Robert C & Hanson, Gordon H, 1996. "Globalization, Outsourcing, and Wage Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 240-245, May.
    23. Jae Song & David J Price & Fatih Guvenen & Nicholas Bloom & Till von Wachter, 2019. "Firming Up Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 134(1), pages 1-50.
    24. Javier Diaz-Gimenez & Vincenzo Quadrini & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull & Santiago Budria Rodriguez, 2002. "Updated facts on the U.S. distributions of earnings, income, and wealth," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, vol. 26(Sum), pages 2-35.
    25. Drăgulescu, Adrian & Yakovenko, Victor M., 2001. "Exponential and power-law probability distributions of wealth and income in the United Kingdom and the United States," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 299(1), pages 213-221.
    26. Kyle Handley & Nuno Limão, 2018. "Policy Uncertainty, Trade, and Welfare: Theory and Evidence for China and the United States," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Policy Externalities and International Trade Agreements, chapter 5, pages 123-175, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    27. Bernard, Andrew B. & Jensen, J. Bradford, 1997. "Exporters, skill upgrading, and the wage gap," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 3-31, February.
    28. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "Income Inequality in the United States, 1913–1998," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 1-41.
    29. Elhanan Helpman & Oleg Itskhoki & Stephen Redding, 2010. "Inequality and Unemployment in a Global Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(4), pages 1239-1283, July.
    30. Lorenzo Caliendo & Ferdinando Monte & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2015. "The Anatomy of French Production Hierarchies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 123(4), pages 809-852.
    31. Faleye, Olubunmi & Reis, Ebru & Venkateswaran, Anand, 2013. "The determinants and effects of CEO–employee pay ratios," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 3258-3272.
    32. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
    33. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 1978. "On the Size Distribution of Business Firms," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 508-523, Autumn.
    34. Caselli, Francesco, 2005. "Accounting for cross-country income differences," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3567, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    35. Tim Schmidt-Eisenlohr & Ryan Monarch, 2015. "Learning and the Value of Relationships in International Trade," 2015 Meeting Papers 668, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    36. Marta A. Geletkanycz & Brian K. Boyd & Sydney Finkelstein, 2001. "The strategic value of CEO external directorate networks: implications for CEO compensation," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(9), pages 889-898, September.
    37. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter K. Schott, 2009. "Importers, Exporters and Multinationals: A Portrait of Firms in the U.S. that Trade Goods," NBER Chapters, in: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data, pages 513-552, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    38. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong Wha, 2013. "A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 184-198.
    39. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1991. "Markups and the Business Cycle," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1991, Volume 6, pages 63-140, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    40. David Hummels, 2007. "Transportation Costs and International Trade in the Second Era of Globalization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 131-154, Summer.
    41. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Nina Pavcnik, 2007. "Distributional Effects of Globalization in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(1), pages 39-82, March.
    42. James M. Poterba & Daniel R. Feenberg, 2000. "The Income and Tax Share of Very High-Income Households, 1960-1995," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 264-270, May.
    43. Muller, Edward N. & Seligson, Mitchell A., 1987. "Inequality and Insurgency," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 81(2), pages 425-451, June.
    44. Xavier Gabaix, 2009. "Power Laws in Economics and Finance," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 255-294, May.
    45. Manasse, Paolo & Turrini, Alessandro, 2001. "Trade, wages, and 'superstars'," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 97-117, June.
    46. A. Drăgulescu & V.M. Yakovenko, 2001. "Evidence for the exponential distribution of income in the USA," The European Physical Journal B: Condensed Matter and Complex Systems, Springer;EDP Sciences, vol. 20(4), pages 585-589, April.
    47. Monte, Ferdinando, 2011. "Skill bias, trade, and wage dispersion," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 202-218, March.
    48. Mani Nepal & Alok K. Bohara & Kishore Gawande, 2011. "More Inequality, More Killings: The Maoist Insurgency in Nepal," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 55(4), pages 886-906, October.
    49. Caselli, Francesco, 2005. "Accounting for cross-country income differences," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 5266, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    50. Fabio Clementi & Mauro Gallegati, 2005. "Pareto's Law of Income Distribution: Evidence for Grermany, the United Kingdom, and the United States," Microeconomics 0505006, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    51. David R. Roberts, 1956. "A General Theory of Executive Compensation Based on Statistically Tested Propositions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 270-294.
    52. Yi Lu Jr. & Linhui Yu Jr., 2015. "Trade Liberalization and Markup Dispersion: Evidence from China's WTO Accession," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 221-253, October.
    53. Meckl, Jürgen & Weigert, Benjamin, 2011. "Occupational Choice, Aggregate Productivity, and Trade," IZA Discussion Papers 5497, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Lixin Tang, 2020. "Entrepreneur Income Inequality, Aggregate Saving and the Gains from Trade," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 38, pages 273-295, October.
    2. Rabah Arezki & Asif Islam & Grégoire Rota-Graziosi, 2021. "Taming Private Leviathans: Regulation versus Taxation," OxCarre Working Papers 226, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
    3. Schetter, Ulrich & Tejada, Oriol, 2018. "Globalization and the Concentration of Talent," VfS Annual Conference 2018 (Freiburg, Breisgau): Digital Economy 181562, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Keller, Wolfgang & Olney, William W., 2021. "Globalization and executive compensation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(C).
    5. Beck, Roland & Di Nino, Virginia & Stracca, Livio, 2021. "Globalisation and the efficiency-equity trade-off," Working Paper Series 2546, European Central Bank.
    6. Gökmen, Nuri & Hu, Weihao & Hou, Peng & Chen, Zhe & Sera, Dezso & Spataru, Sergiu, 2016. "Investigation of wind speed cooling effect on PV panels in windy locations," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 283-290.
    7. Ahmed, Sumair Faisal & Khalid, M. & Rashmi, W. & Chan, A. & Shahbaz, Kaveh, 2017. "Recent progress in solar thermal energy storage using nanomaterials," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 450-460.
    8. Morten Olsen & Joshua Gottlieb & David Hemous & Jeffrey Clemens, 2017. "The Spill-over Effects of Top Income Inequality," 2017 Meeting Papers 332, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Kehoe, Timothy J. & Pujolàs, Pau S. & Ruhl, Kim J., 2016. "The opportunity costs of entrepreneurs in international trade," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 1-3.
    10. Oh, Yunjung & Park, Junhong & Lee, Jong Tae & Seo, Jigu & Park, Sungwook, 2016. "Development strategies to satisfy corporate average CO2 emission regulations of light duty vehicles (LDVs) in Korea," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 121-132.
    11. Xing, Yupeng & Han, Peide & Wang, Shuai & Liang, Peng & Lou, Shishu & Zhang, Yuanbo & Hu, Shaoxu & Zhu, Huishi & Zhao, Chunhua & Mi, Yanhong, 2015. "A review of concentrator silicon solar cells," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 1697-1708.
    12. Lixin Tang, 2014. "Top Income Inequality, Aggregate Saving and the Gains from Trade," 2014 Papers pta581, Job Market Papers.
    13. Kitenge, Erick, 2021. "The Linder hypothesis during the globalization era," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 200(C).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Monte, Ferdinando, 2011. "Skill bias, trade, and wage dispersion," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 202-218, March.
    2. Taiji Furusawa & Hideo Konishi & Duong Lam Anh Tran, 2020. "International Trade and Income Inequality," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 122(3), pages 993-1026, July.
    3. Hartmut Egger & Udo Kreickemeier, 2017. "Fairness, Trade, and Inequality," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: International Trade and Labor Markets Welfare, Inequality and Unemployment, chapter 12, pages 339-380, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    4. Keller, Wolfgang & Olney, William W., 2021. "Globalization and executive compensation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(C).
    5. Melitz, Marc J. & Redding, Stephen J., 2014. "Heterogeneous Firms and Trade," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 1-54, Elsevier.
    6. Elhanan Helpman & Oleg Itskhoki & Stephen Redding, 2010. "Inequality and Unemployment in a Global Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(4), pages 1239-1283, July.
    7. Elias Dinopoulos & Bulent Unel, 2017. "Managerial capital, occupational choice and inequality in a global economy," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 50(2), pages 365-397, May.
    8. Sampson, Thomas, 2016. "Assignment reversals: Trade, skill allocation and wage inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 365-409.
    9. Kohl, Miriam, 2020. "Redistribution, selection, and trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C).
    10. Bohdan Kukharskyy, 2012. "Trade, Superstars, and Welfare," Working Papers 120, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
    11. Antràs, Pol & de Gortari, Alonso & Itskhoki, Oleg, 2017. "Globalization, inequality and welfare," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 387-412.
    12. Baumgarten, Daniel, 2013. "Exporters and the rise in wage inequality: Evidence from German linked employer–employee data," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 201-217.
    13. Sly, Nicholas, 2012. "Labor matching behavior and trade adjustment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 592-604.
    14. Raveh, Ohad & Reshef, Ariell, 2016. "Capital imports composition, complementarities, and the skill premium in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 183-206.
    15. Dinopoulos, Elias & Unel, Bulent, 2015. "Entrepreneurs, jobs, and trade," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 93-112.
    16. Muendler, Marc-Andreas, 2017. "Trade, technology, and prosperity: An account of evidence from a labor-market perspective," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2017-15, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    17. Ayhab Saad, 2018. "The exceptional performance of exporters: Evidence from Egyptian ?rms," Working Papers 1208, Economic Research Forum, revised 12 Jun 2018.
    18. Elias Dinopoulos & Bulent Unel, 2014. "Firm Productivity, Occupational Choice, and Inequality in a Global Economy (revised March 2015)," Departmental Working Papers 2014-04, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
    19. Giri, Rahul, 2012. "Local costs of distribution, international trade costs and micro evidence on the law of one price," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 82-100.
    20. Pol Antràs & Elhanan Helpman, 2006. "Contractual Frictions and Global Sourcing," NBER Working Papers 12747, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    trade; income inequality; occupational choice; CEO compensation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F62 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Macroeconomic Impacts
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:14-07. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cesgvus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Dawn Anderson (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cesgvus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.