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Comparative Advantage and Skill-Specific Unemployment

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  • Mario Larch
  • Wolfgang Lechthaler

Abstract

We introduce unemployment and endogenous selection of workers into different skill-classes in a trade model with two sectors and heterogeneous firms. This allows us to study the distributional consequences and the skill-specific unemployment effects of trade liberalization. We show that the gains from trade will be distributed very unequally. While unskilled workers loose in terms of real wages and employment levels in the skilled labor intensive sector, skilled workers loose in terms of real wages and unemployment levels in the unskilled labor intensive sector. However, the inequality of workers between sectors is much larger for skilled labor than for unskilled labor. On average, unemployment among unskilled workers increases when a skill-abundant country opens up to trade.

Suggested Citation

  • Mario Larch & Wolfgang Lechthaler, 2009. "Comparative Advantage and Skill-Specific Unemployment," CESifo Working Paper Series 2754, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2754
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    Cited by:

    1. Marco Pinto & Jochen Michaelis, 2014. "International Trade and Unemployment—the Worker-selection Effect," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(2), pages 226-252, May.
    2. Wolfgang Lechthaler & Mariya Mileva, 2019. "Trade liberalization and wage inequality: new insights from a dynamic trade model with heterogeneous firms and comparative advantage," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 155(3), pages 407-457, August.
    3. Schmerer, Hans-Jörg, 2012. "FDI, skill-specific unemployment, and institutional spillover effects," Economics Discussion Papers 2012-2, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel).
    4. Shoya Ishimaru & Soo Hyun Oh & Seung-Gyu Sim, 2017. "Trade preferences and political equilibrium associated with trade liberalization," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(3), pages 361-384, April.
    5. Yu‐Fu Chen & Michael Funke, 2010. "Booms, Recessions And Financial Turmoil: A Fresh Look At Investment Decisions Under Cyclical Uncertainty," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 57(3), pages 290-317, July.
    6. Falvey, Rod & Greenaway, David & Silva, Joana, 2010. "Trade liberalisation and human capital adjustment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 230-239, July.
    7. Stella Capuano & Andreas Hauptmann & Jans-Jörg Schmerer, 2014. "Trade and Unions: Can Exporters Benefit from Collective Bargaining?," CESifo Working Paper Series 5096, CESifo.
    8. Beker, Victor A., 2012. "A case study on trade liberalization: Argentina in the 1990s," Economics Discussion Papers 2012-3, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel).
    9. Wolfgang Lechthaler & Mariya Mileva, 2021. "Smoothing the adjustment to trade liberalization," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 48(4), pages 903-946, November.
    10. David Pierce & Simon Shepherd & Daniel Johnson, 2019. "Modelling the Impacts of Inter-City Connectivity on City Specialisation," International Journal of System Dynamics Applications (IJSDA), IGI Global, vol. 8(4), pages 47-70, October.
    11. Lukas Mohler & Rolf Weder & Simone Wyss, 2018. "International trade and unemployment: towards an investigation of the Swiss case," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics, Springer;Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics, vol. 154(1), pages 1-12, December.
    12. Schmerer, Hans-Jörg, 2012. "Skill-biased labor market reforms and international competitiveness," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal (2007-2020), Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel), vol. 6, pages 1-39.
    13. Mariya Mileva, 2014. "Smoothing the Adjustment to Trade Liberalisation. WWWforEurope Working Paper No. 61," WIFO Studies, WIFO, number 47248, July.
    14. Engelmann, Sabine, 2011. "Trade liberalisation, technical change and skill-specific unemployment," IAB-Discussion Paper 201119, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    15. Wolfgang Lechthaler, 2013. "Two-Country Dynamic Model of Trade with Heterogeneous Firms and Comparative Advantage. WWWforEurope Working Paper No. 12," WIFO Studies, WIFO, number 46859, July.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    comparative advantage; heterogeneous firms; labor market frictions; unemployment; trade liberalization;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

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