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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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  2. 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.
  3. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2004. "Comparative advantage and heterogeneous firms," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3700, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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  11. Catia Montagna, 1998. "Efficiency Gaps, Love of Variety and International Trade," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics 090, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
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  18. Hildreth, Andrew K G & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Rent-Sharing and Wages: Evidence from Company and Establishment Panels," Economics Discussion Papers 10024, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  19. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555 Elsevier.
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  28. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
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