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Trade and Industrial Location with Heterogeneous Labor


  • Mary Amiti
  • Christopher A. Pissarides


We show in the framework of a new economic geography model that when labor is heterogenous and productivity depends on the quality of the match between job and worker, trade liberalization may lead to industrial agglomeration and inter-industry trade. The agglomeration force is the improvement in the quality of matches when firms recruit from a bigger pool of labor. The forces against agglomeration are the existence of trade costs and monopoly power in the labor market. We show that more heterogeneity in skills attracts both firms and workers to bigger markets and supports agglomeration at higher trade costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Mary Amiti & Christopher A. Pissarides, 2002. "Trade and Industrial Location with Heterogeneous Labor," CEP Discussion Papers dp0541, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0541

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mary Amiti & Lisa Ann Cameron, 2004. "Economic Geography and Wages; The Case of Indonesia," IMF Working Papers 04/79, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
    3. Paul Krugman, 1992. "Geography and Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262610868, January.
    4. Rotemberg, Julio J. & Saloner, Garth, 2000. "Competition and human capital accumulation: a theory of interregional specialization and trade," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 373-404, July.
    5. Economides, Nicholas, 1989. "Symmetric equilibrium existence and optimality in differentiated product markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 178-194, February.
    6. Barbara Petrongolo & Christopher Pissarides, 2006. "Scale Effects in Markets with Search," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(508), pages 21-44, January.
    7. d'Aspremont, C & Gabszewicz, Jean Jaskold & Thisse, J-F, 1979. "On Hotelling's "Stability in Competition"," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1145-1150, September.
    8. Helsley, Robert W. & Strange, William C., 1990. "Matching and agglomeration economies in a system of cities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 189-212, September.
    9. Guy Dumais & Glenn Ellison & Edward L. Glaeser, 2002. "Geographic Concentration As A Dynamic Process," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 193-204, May.
    10. Mary Amiti & Lisa Cameron, 2007. "Economic Geography and Wages," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 15-29, February.
    11. Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 1995. "Globalization and the Inequality of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 857-880.
    12. Thisse, Jacques-Francois & Zenou, Yves, 2000. "Skill mismatch and unemployment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 415-420, December.
    13. Masahisa Fujita & Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "The Spatial Economy: Cities, Regions, and International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262561476, January.
    14. repec:hhs:iuiwop:430 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Sato, Yasuhiro, 2001. "Labor Heterogeneity in an Urban Labor Market," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 313-337, September.
    16. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2001. "The Determinants of Agglomeration," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 191-229, September.
    17. Gautier, P.A. & Teulings, C.N., 2009. "Search and the city," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 251-265, May.
    18. Andersson, Fredrik & Burgess, Simon & Lane, Julia I., 2007. "Cities, matching and the productivity gains of agglomeration," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 112-128, January.
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    More about this item


    agglomeration; matching; spatial mismatch; inter-regional trade;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R13 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General Equilibrium and Welfare Economic Analysis of Regional Economies


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