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Fair Wages and Human Capital Accumulation in a Global Economy

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  • Udo Kreickemeier

Abstract

This paper analyzes trade in an asymmetric 2×2×2 world, where the two countries, labelled America and Europe, differ in their attitudes towards wage inequality. In both America and Europe, fair wage considerations compress differentials between the wages for skilled and unskilled workers, leading to involuntary unemployment of unskilled workers in equilibrium. European workers are more averse to wage inequality than American workers though, and as a consequence Europe is characterised by lower wage differentials as well as higher unemployment. Allowing for endogenous skill formation in both countries, the effects of a globalization shock − modelled as the entry of newly industrializing countries into the trading world − on prices and employment levels are derived.

Suggested Citation

  • Udo Kreickemeier, 2004. "Fair Wages and Human Capital Accumulation in a Global Economy," CESifo Working Paper Series 1185, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1185
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp1185.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Findlay, Ronald & Kierzkowski, Henryk, 1983. "International Trade and Human Capital: A Simple General Equilibrium Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(6), pages 957-978, December.
    2. Ernst Fehr & Armin Falk, 1999. "Wage Rigidity in a Competitive Incomplete Contract Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(1), pages 106-134, February.
    3. Agell, Jonas & Lundborg, Per, 1995. " Theories of Pay and Unemployment: Survey Evidence from Swedish Manufacturing Firms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(2), pages 295-307, June.
    4. Davis, Donald R, 1998. "Does European Unemployment Prop Up American Wages? National Labor Markets and Global Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 478-494, June.
    5. George A. Akerlof, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-569.
    6. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 1995. "An Introduction to the Wage Curve," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 153-167, Summer.
    7. Paul Krugman, 1995. "Growing World Trade: Causes and Consequences," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 327-377.
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    Keywords

    globalization; globalisation; unemployment; fair wages; skill upgrading;

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