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Worker-Specific Effects of Globalisation

  • Hartmut Egger
  • Udo Kreickemeier

This paper sets up a general equilibrium model, in which firms are heterogeneous due to productivity differences and workers have fairness preferences and hence provide full effort only if their factor return is sufficiently high. With the wage considered to be fair by workers depending on the operating profits of the firm in which they are employed, more productive firms in this setting are not only larger and make higher profits but they also have to pay higher wages due to rent-sharing. This mechanism leads to wage differentiation even if all workers share the same individual characteristics. We use this framework to study worker-specific effects of trade between two symmetric countries. Exporters in this setting make higher operating profits and hence have to pay higher wages than non-exporters. This exporter wage premium provides a source for losses from trade and, all other things equal, makes a negative employment effect of trade more likely. Furthermore, it contributes significantly to a general increase in intra-group income inequality among production workers when a country moves from autarky to trade.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2009/wp-cesifo-2009-10/cesifo1_wp2826.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2826.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2826
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  1. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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).
  3. Egger, Hartmut & Kreickemeier, Udo, 2012. "Fairness, trade, and inequality," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 184-196.
  4. 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.
  5. Bernard, A., 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," Working papers 97-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Hartmut Egger & Udo Kreickemeier, 2007. "Firm Heterogeneity and the Labour Market Effects of Trade Liberalisation," CESifo Working Paper Series 2000, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Arai, Mahmood, 1999. "Wages, Profits and Capital Intensity: Evidence from Matched Worker-Firm Data," Research Papers in Economics 1999:3, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  8. Danthine, Jean-Pierre & Kurmann, Andre, 2005. "The Macroeconomic Consequences of Reciprocity in Labour Relations," CEPR Discussion Papers 5174, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Giulia Faggio & Kjell G. Salvanes & John Van Reenen, 2007. "The evolution of inequality in productivity and wages: panel data evidence," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4558, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  10. Mary Amiti & Donald R. Davis, 2008. "Trade, Firms, and Wages: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 14106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Schank, Thorsten & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2007. "Do exporters really pay higher wages? First evidence from German linked employer-employee data," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 52-74, May.
  12. Kenneth R. Troske & Kimberly Bayard, 1999. "Examining the Employer-Size Wage Premium in the Manufacturing, Retail Trade, and Service Industries Using Employer-Employee Matched Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 99-103, May.
  13. Donald R. Davis & James Harrigan, 2007. "Good Jobs, Bad Jobs, and Trade Liberalization," NBER Working Papers 13139, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. 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.
  15. Hilderth, A.K. & Oswald, A.J., 1993. "Rent-Sharing and Wages: Evidence form Company and Establishment Panels," Economics Series Working Papers 99154, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  16. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gächter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 159-181, Summer.
  17. Helpman, Elhanan & Itskhoki, Oleg & Redding, Stephen J., 2009. "Inequality and Unemployment in a Global Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 7353, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1988. "Fairness and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 44-49, May.
  19. Kreickemeier, Udo & Nelson, Douglas, 2006. "Fair wages, unemployment and technological change in a global economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 451-469, December.
  20. Peter Howitt, 2002. "Looking Inside the Labor Market: A Review Article," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 125-138, March.
  21. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald & Peter Sanfey, 1996. "Wages, Profits, and Rent-Sharing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 227-251.
  22. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2008. "Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Revising the Revisionists," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 300-323, May.
  23. George A. Akerlof, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-569.
  24. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "National and International Returns to Scale in the Modern Theory of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 389-405, June.
  25. 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.
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