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Selection into Trade and Wage Inequality

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  • Thomas Sampson

Abstract

This paper analyzes the impact of trade integration on wage inequality when there is heterogeneity across both workers and firms. By incorporating labor assignment into the heterogeneous firms literature I develop a model in which positive assortative matching between worker skill and firm technology explains the employer size-wage premium and the exporter wage premium. Under trade, fixed export costs cause the selection of high productivity, high skill firms into exporting and an upwards shift in the firm technology distribution. Consequently, the demand for skill and wage inequality increase in all countries, both on aggregate and within the export sector. This result holds both when firms' technologies are determined by a random draw and when technology is endogenous to firm level R&D. With endogenous technology, the increased demand for skill caused by trade liberalization results from technology upgrading by new exporters.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Sampson, 2012. "Selection into Trade and Wage Inequality," CEP Discussion Papers dp1152, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1152
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    File URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/dp1152.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jan Eeckhout & Philipp Kircher, 2011. "Identifying Sorting--In Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(3), pages 872-906.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Gene Grossman, 2013. "Heterogeneous workers and international trade," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 149(2), pages 211-245, June.
    2. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman & Philipp Kircher, 2013. "Matching and Sorting in a Global Economy," NBER Working Papers 19513, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Sarra Ben Yahmed, 2012. "Gender Wage Gaps across Skills and Trade Openness," AMSE Working Papers 1232, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France, revised Nov 2012.
    4. Melitz, Marc J. & Redding, Stephen J., 2014. "Heterogeneous Firms and Trade," Handbook of International Economics, Elsevier.
    5. Matilde Bombardini & Gianluca Orefice & Maria D. Tito, 2015. "Does Exporting Improve Matching? Evidence from French Employer-Employee Data," NBER Working Papers 21225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Sarra Ben Yahmed, 2012. "Gender Wage Gaps across Skills and Trade Openness," Working Papers halshs-00793559, HAL.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Wage inequality; matching; technology; skills; trade;

    JEL classification:

    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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