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Selection into Trade and Wage Inequality

Listed author(s):
  • Thomas Sampson
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    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.

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    File URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/dp1152.pdf
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    Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp1152.

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    Date of creation: Jun 2012
    Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1152
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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    1. Thierry Mayer & Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2012. "Market Size, Competition, and the Product Mix of Exporters," CEP Discussion Papers dp1146, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    2. Thorsten Schank & Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2006. "Do exporters really pay higher wages? First evidence from German linked employer-employee data," Working Paper Series in Economics 28, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    3. Mary Amiti & Donald R. Davis, 2008. "Trade, Firms, and Wages: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 14106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Philipp Kircher & Jan Eeckhout, 2009. "Identifying Sorting, In Theory," 2009 Meeting Papers 581, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Helpman, Elhanan & Itskhoki, Oleg, 2009. "Labor Market Rigidities, Trade, and Unemployment," CEPR Discussion Papers 7502, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Pol Antras & Luis Garicano, 2005. "Offshoring in a Knowledge Economy," 2005 Meeting Papers 196, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Paula Bustos, 2011. "Trade Liberalization, Exports, and Technology Upgrading: Evidence on the Impact of MERCOSUR on Argentinian Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 304-340, February.
    8. Helpman, Elhanan & Itskhoki, Oleg & Redding, Stephen, 2010. "Inequality and Unemployment in a Global Economy," Scholarly Articles 25586656, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    9. Alla Lileeva & Daniel Trefler, 2007. "Improved Access to Foreign Markets Raises Plant-Level Productivity ... for Some Plants," NBER Working Papers 13297, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Arnaud Costinot, 2009. "An Elementary Theory of Comparative Advantage," NBER Working Papers 14645, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. 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.
    12. Elhanan Helpman & Oleg Itskhoki & Marc-Andreas Muendler & Stephen Redding, 2012. "Trade and Inequality: From Theory to Estimation," CEP Discussion Papers dp1138, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    13. Arnaud Costinot & Jonathan Vogel, 2010. "Matching and Inequality in the World Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(4), pages 747-786, 08.
    14. Monte, Ferdinando, 2009. "Skill Bias, Trade, and Wage Dispersion," MPRA Paper 14719, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Ariel Burstein & Jonathan Vogel, 2010. "Globalization, Technology, and the Skill Premium: A Quantitative Analysis," NBER Working Papers 16459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Paula Bustos, 2005. "The impact of trade liberalization on skill upgrading. Evidence from Argentina," Economics Working Papers 1189, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jul 2011.
    17. Lentz, Rasmus, 2010. "Sorting by search intensity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(4), pages 1436-1452, July.
    18. Giulia Faggio & Kjell Salvanes & John Van Reenen, 2007. "The Evolution of Inequality in Productivity and Wages: Panel Data Evidence," NBER Working Papers 13351, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Franziska Ohnsorge & Daniel Trefler, 2007. "Sorting It Out: International Trade with Heterogeneous Workers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(5), pages 868-892, October.
    20. Davidson, Carl & Matusz, Steven J. & Shevchenko, Andrei, 2008. "Globalization and firm level adjustment with imperfect labor markets," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 295-309, July.
    21. Eric A. Verhoogen, 2008. "Trade, Quality Upgrading, and Wage Inequality in the Mexican Manufacturing Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 489-530.
    22. Erzo G. J. Luttmer, 2007. "Selection, Growth, and the Size Distribution of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1103-1144.
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