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Trade and Labor Market Outcomes

  • Elhanan Helpman
  • Oleg Itskhoki
  • Stephen Redding

This paper reviews a new framework for analyzing the interrelationship between inequality, unemployment, labor market frictions, and foreign trade. This framework emphasizes firm heterogeneity and search and matching frictions in labor markets. It implies that the opening of trade may raise inequality and unemployment, but always raises welfare. Unilateral reductions in labor market frictions increase a country's welfare, can raise or reduce its unemployment rate, yet always hurt the country's trade partner. Unemployment benefits can alleviate the distortions in a country's labor market in some cases but not in others, but they can never implement the constrained Pareto optimal allocation. We characterize the set of optimal policies, which require interventions in product and labor markets.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp1028.

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Date of creation: Dec 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1028
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  1. Pol Antràs & Elhanan Helpman, 2003. "Global Sourcing," NBER Working Papers 10082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Davidson, Carl & Martin, Lawrence & Matusz, Steven, 1988. "The Structure of Simple General Equilibrium Models with Frictional Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(6), pages 1267-93, December.
  3. Elhanan Helpman & Oleg Itskhoki & Stephen Redding, 2008. "Inequality and Unemployment in a Global Economy," NBER Working Papers 14478, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Olivier Blanchard & Justin Wolfers, 1999. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Defever, Fabrice & Toubal, Farid, 2013. "Productivity, relationship-specific inputs and the sourcing modes of multinationals," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 345-357.
  6. Helpman, Elhanan & Itskhoki, Oleg, 2009. "Labor Market Rigidities, Trade, and Unemployment," CEPR Discussion Papers 7502, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Matusz, Steven J, 1986. "Implicit Contracts, Unemployment and International Trade," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(382), pages 307-22, June.
  8. Devashish Mitra & Priya Ranjan, 2007. "Offshoring and Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 13149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Attanasio, Orazio & Goldberg, Pinelopi & Pavcnik, Nina, 2003. "Trade Reforms and Wage Inequality in Colombia," CEPR Discussion Papers 4023, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  11. Ricardo, David, 1821. "On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, edition 3, number ricardo1821.
  12. Brecher, Richard A, 1974. "Minimum Wage Rates and the Pure Theory of International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 88(1), pages 98-116, February.
  13. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Prat, Julien & Schmerer, Hans-Jörg, 2011. "Globalization and labor market outcomes: Wage bargaining, search frictions, and firm heterogeneity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(1), pages 39-73, January.
  14. Mary Amiti & Donald R. Davis, 2008. "Trade, Firms, and Wages: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 14106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Filho, Naerico Aquino Menezes & Muendler, Marc-Andreas & Ramey, Garey, 2006. "The Structure of Worker Compensation in Brazil, With a Comparison to France and the United States," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt8pr105rg, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  16. Stole, Lars A & Zwiebel, Jeffrey, 1996. "Intra-firm Bargaining under Non-binding Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(3), pages 375-410, July.
  17. Zhu, Susan Chun & Trefler, Daniel, 2005. "Trade and inequality in developing countries: a general equilibrium analysis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 21-48, January.
  18. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Feenstra, R.C. & Hanson, G.H., 1995. "Foreign Investment, Outsourcing and Relative Wages," Papers 95-14, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
  20. Davidson, Carl & Martin, Lawrence & Matusz, Steven, 1999. "Trade and search generated unemployment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 271-299, August.
  21. repec:clu:wpaper:0607-07 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. Kreickemeier, Udo & Nelson, Douglas, 2006. "Fair wages, unemployment and technological change in a global economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 451-469, December.
  23. Agell, Jonas & Lundborg, Per, 1995. "Fair Wages in the Open Economy," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 62(247), pages 335-51, August.
  24. Oi, Walter Y. & Idson, Todd L., 1999. "Firm size and wages," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 33, pages 2165-2214 Elsevier.
  25. Hartmut Egger & Udo Kreickemeier, 2007. "Firm Heterogeneity and the Labour Market Effects of Trade Liberalisation," CESifo Working Paper Series 2000, CESifo Group Munich.
  26. Menezes Filho, N. A. & Menezes Filho, N. A., 2007. "The Structure of Worker Compensation in Brazil, With a Comparison to France and the United States," Insper Working Papers wpe_78, Insper Working Paper, Insper Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa.
  27. Oleg Itskhoki, 2009. "Optimal Redistribution in an Open Economy," 2009 Meeting Papers 967, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  28. Stephen Nickell & Luca Nunziata & Wolfgang Ochel & Glenda Quintini, 2001. "The Beveridge Curve, Unemployment and Wages in the OECD from the 1960s to the 1990s - Preliminary Version," CEP Discussion Papers dp0502, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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