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Relative Prices, Trade and Restructuring in European Industry

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  • Neven, Damien J
  • Wyplosz, Charles

Abstract

This paper explores the link between trade and European labour markets by using evidence on relative commodity prices and intra-sectoral skill levels at the NACE three-digit level for the four large EC countries and for the period 1976–90. We find that if the relative import prices of unskilled labour intensive sectors have not fallen significantly over time, substantial and varied restructuring is observed in those sectors. Defensive restructuring, involving upgrading of skills and expansion, is about as common as the contraction of employment and wages predicted by the Hecksher-Ohlin principle.

Suggested Citation

  • Neven, Damien J & Wyplosz, Charles, 1996. "Relative Prices, Trade and Restructuring in European Industry," CEPR Discussion Papers 1451, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1451
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Peneder, 2003. "Industry Classifications: Aim, Scope and Techniques," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 109-129, March.
    2. T. Huw Edwards & John Whalley, 2002. "Short and Long Run Decompositions of OECD Wage Inequality Changes," NBER Working Papers 9265, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Helmut Hofer & Peter Huber, 2003. "Wage and Mobility Effects of Trade and Migration on the Austrian Labour Market," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 107-125, June.
    4. Welsch, Heinz & Ochsen, Carsten, 2005. "The determinants of aggregate energy use in West Germany: factor substitution, technological change, and trade," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 93-111, January.
    5. Lisandro Abrego & John Whalley, 2000. "Demand Side Considerations and the Trade and Wages Debate," NBER Working Papers 7674, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Engelmann, Sabine, 2012. "International trade, technical change and wage inequality in the U.K. economy," IAB Discussion Paper 201208, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    7. Chiara Bentivogli & Patrizio Pagano, 1999. "Trade, Job Destruction and Job Creation in European Manufacturing," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 165-184, May.
    8. Hervé Boulhol & Sabien Dobbelaere & Sara Maioli, 2011. "Imports as Product and Labour Market Discipline," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 49(2), pages 331-361, June.
    9. Carsten Ochsen, 2006. "Zukunft der Arbeit und Arbeit der Zukunft in Deutschland," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 7(2), pages 173-193, May.
    10. Carsten Ochsen & Heinz Welsch, 2005. "Technology, trade, and income distribution in West Germany: A factor-share analysis, 1976-1994," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 8, pages 321-345, November.
    11. Abrego, Lisandro & Whalley, John, 2000. "The Choice of Structural Model in Trade-Wages Decompositions," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(3), pages 462-477, August.
    12. Greenaway, David & Hine, Robert C. & Wright, Peter, 1999. "An empirical assessment of the impact of trade on employment in the United Kingdom," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 485-500, September.
    13. Filip Abraham & Ellen Brock, 2003. "Sectoral employment effects of trade and productivity in Europe," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(2), pages 223-238.
    14. Koeniger, Winfried, 2001. "Trade, Labor Market Rigidities, and Government-Financed Technological Change," IZA Discussion Papers 241, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    15. Haskel, Jonathan & Slaughter, Matthew J, 2001. "Trade, Technology and U.K. Wage Inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(468), pages 163-187, January.
    16. Ide Kearney, 1997. "Shifts in the Demand for Skilled Labour in the Irish Manufacturing Sector: 1979-1990," Papers WP083, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    17. Niven Winchester, 2006. "Searching for the Smoking Gun: Did Trade Hurt Unskilled Workers?," Working Papers 0605, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Sep 2006.
    18. Jansen, Marion, 2000. "International trade and the position of European low-skilled labour," WTO Staff Working Papers ERAD-2000-01, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    19. Martin Falk & Yvonne Wolfmayr, 2005. "Employment Effects of Outsourcing to Low Wage Countries. Empirical Evidence for EU Countries," WIFO Working Papers 262, WIFO.
    20. Michael Pflüger, 2003. "Trade, Technology and Labour Markets: Empirical Controversies in the Light of the Jones Model," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 328, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    21. Lars Calmfors & Giancarlo Corsetti & Michael P. Devereux & Gilles Saint-Paul & Hans-Werner Sinn & Jan-Egbert Sturm & Xavier Vives, 2008. "Chapter 3: The effect of globalisation on Western European jobs: curse or blessing?," EEAG Report on the European Economy, CESifo Group Munich, vol. 0, pages 71-104, February.
    22. Lihong Yun, 2008. "Technical Progress and Labour Demand in Swedish Manufacturing Firms," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 147-167, June.
    23. Siebert, Horst & Stehn, Jürgen, 1999. "Internationaler Handel, dynamischer Wettbewerb und nationale Beschäftigungsstruktur: eine Bestandsaufnahme für Deutschland," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 2392, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    24. Falk, Martin & Wolfmayr, Yvonne, 2008. "Services and materials outsourcing to low-wage countries and employment: Empirical evidence from EU countries," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 38-52, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    European Labour Markets; Trade;

    JEL classification:

    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General

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