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Firm Heterogeneity and the Labour Market Effects of Trade Liberalisation

  • Hartmut Egger
  • Udo Kreickemeier

This paper develops a model that incorporates workers’ fair wage preferences into a general equilibrium framework with monopolistic competition between heterogeneous firms à la Melitz (2003). By assuming that the wage considered to be fair by workers depends on the productivity and thus the economic success of the firm they are working in, we can study the determinants of profits, involuntary unemployment and within-group wage inequality in a unified framework. We use this model to investigate the effects of globalisation. In a benchmark case with identical costs of entering domestic and foreign markets, there are gains from trade accompanied by distributional conflicts, which have so far not been accounted for in the literature: a simultaneous increase of average profits and involuntary unemployment as well as a surge in within-group wage inequality.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2000.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2000
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  1. Yeaple, Stephen & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2004. "Export versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," Scholarly Articles 3229098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Danthine, Jean-Pierre & Kurmann, Andre, 2006. "Efficiency wages revisited: The internal reference perspective," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 278-284, February.
  3. Ernst Fehr & Armin Falk, 2003. "Wage Rigidity in a Competitive Incomplete Contract Market," Labor and Demography 0305001, EconWPA.
  4. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 1998. "Ability Biased Technological Transition, Wage Inequality, and Economic Growth," Working Papers 98-14, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  5. Hartmut Egger & Volker Grossmann, 2005. "Non-Routine Tasks, Restructuring of Firms, and Wage Inequality Within and Between Skill-Groups," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 86(3), pages 197-228, December.
  6. Del Gatto, Massimo & Mion, Giordano & Ottaviano, Gianmarco, 2006. "Trade Integration, Firm Selection and the Costs of Non-Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 5730, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Richard Baldwin, 2005. "Heterogeneous Firms and Trade: Testable and Untestable Properties of the Melitz Model," NBER Working Papers 11471, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Andrew K.G. Hildreth and Andrew J. Oswald, . "Rent-Sharing and Wages: Evidence from Company and Establishment Panels," Economics Discussion Papers 425, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  9. Rudolf Winter-Ebmer & Josef Zweimueller, . "Firm Size Wage Differentials in Switzerland: Evidence from Job Changers," IEW - Working Papers 001, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  10. Steven J. Matusz, 1994. "International Trade Policy in a Model of Unemployment and Wage Differentials," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 27(4), pages 939-49, November.
  11. Montagna, Catia, 2001. "Efficiency Gaps, Love of Variety and International Trade," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(269), pages 27-44, February.
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  15. Barth, Erling & Lucifora, Claudio, 2006. "Wage Dispersion, Markets and Institutions: The Effects of the Boom in Education on the Wage Structure," IZA Discussion Papers 2181, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Agell, Jonas & Lundborg, Per, 1992. "Fair wages, involuntary unemployment and tax policies in the simple general equilibrium model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 299-320, April.
  17. Sofronis Clerides & Saul Lach & James Tybout, 1996. "Is "Learning-by-Exporting" Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence from Colombia, Mexico and Morocco," NBER Working Papers 5715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  19. Hartmut Egger & Udo Kreickemeier, 2005. "International Fragmentation: Boon or Bane for Domestic Employment?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1595, CESifo Group Munich.
  20. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1990. "The Fair Wage-Effort Hypothesis and Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 255-83, May.
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  26. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
  27. Matusz, Steven J, 1996. "International Trade, the Division of Labor, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(1), pages 71-84, February.
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  37. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter & Violante, Giovanni L, 2002. " General Purpose Technology and Wage Inequality," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 315-45, December.
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