IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ces/ceswps/_5031.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Globalization, Wage Polarization, and the Unstable Great Ratio

Author

Listed:
  • Guido Cozzi
  • Giammario Impullitti

Abstract

The US labour market has experienced a remarkable polarization in the 1980s and 1990s. Moreover, recent empirical work has documented a sharp increase in the wealth to income ratio in that period. Contemporary to these inequality trends, the US faced a fast technological catch-up as European countries and especially Japan drastically improved their global innovation and patenting activity. Is foreign technological convergence an important source of the recent evolution of the US wage and employment structure? Can it contribute shaping the dynamics of wealth-to-income ratio? To answer these questions, we set up a Schumpeterian model of endogenous technological progress with two asymmetric countries, heterogeneous workers, and endogenous skill formation. High ability people acquire education and become skilled, those with intermediate abilities work as unskilled workers in production jobs, and those at the bottom of the ability distribution work in service occupations. Service workers provide personal services allowing their employers to save working time. In equilibrium, only skilled workers buy personal services. Fiercer foreign competition triggered by technological catching up shifts production jobs abroad and forces domestic firms to innovate more. Hence, the employment share of production workers shrinks, while the demand for both high skilled and service sector workers rises, thus increasing polarization. Calibrating the model to match key facts of the US economy, we find that foreign technological catching-up observed between the late 1970s and early 1990s reproduces a non-negligible part of US wage polarization and substantial part of the increase in the wealth-to-income ratio in that period.

Suggested Citation

  • Guido Cozzi & Giammario Impullitti, 2014. "Globalization, Wage Polarization, and the Unstable Great Ratio," CESifo Working Paper Series 5031, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5031
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp5031.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Philippe Aghion & Diego Comin & Peter Howitt & Isabel Tecu, 2016. "When Does Domestic Savings Matter for Economic Growth?," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 64(3), pages 381-407, August.
    2. Borota, Teodora, 2012. "Innovation and imitation in a model of North–South trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 365-376.
    3. Yeaple, Stephen Ross, 2005. "A simple model of firm heterogeneity, international trade, and wages," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 1-20, January.
    4. Hsieh, Chang-Tai & Ossa, Ralph, 2016. "A global view of productivity growth in China," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 209-224.
    5. Charles I. Jones, 1995. "Time Series Tests of Endogenous Growth Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 495-525.
    6. Dennis Novy, 2013. "Gravity Redux: Measuring International Trade Costs With Panel Data," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 101-121, January.
    7. Blundell, Richard & Griffith, Rachel & Windmeijer, Frank, 2002. "Individual effects and dynamics in count data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 113-131, May.
    8. Francesca Mazzolari & Giuseppe Ragusa, 2013. "Spillovers from High-Skill Consumption to Low-Skill Labor Markets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(1), pages 74-86, March.
    9. Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt, 2009. "The Economics of Growth," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262012634, May.
    10. Thomas Piketty & Gabriel Zucman, 2014. "Capital is Back: Wealth-Income Ratios in Rich Countries 1700–2010," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(3), pages 1255-1310.
    11. Glass, Amy Jocelyn & Saggi, Kamal, 1998. "International technology transfer and the technology gap," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 369-398, April.
    12. repec:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/693373 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Susanto Basu, 1996. "Procyclical Productivity: Increasing Returns or Cyclical Utilization?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 719-751.
    14. Parello, Carmelo Pierpaolo, 2008. "A north-south model of intellectual property rights protection and skill accumulation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1-2), pages 253-281, February.
    15. Mathias Thoenig & Thierry Verdier, 2003. "A Theory of Defensive Skill-Biased Innovation and Globalization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 709-728, June.
    16. Cozzi Guido, 2007. "The Arrow Effect under Competitive R&D," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-20, January.
    17. Ariel Burstein & Jonathan Vogel, 2017. "International Trade, Technology, and the Skill Premium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(5), pages 1356-1412.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    wage polarization; heterogeneous workers; wealth-income ratio; endogenous technical change; international technology competition; personal service sector;

    JEL classification:

    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5031. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Klaus Wohlrabe). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cesifde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.