Trade, Wages, and Superstars
We study the effect of 'globalization' on wage inequality. Our 'global' economy resembles Rosen's (1981) 'Superstars' economy, where a) innovations in production and communication technologies enable suppliers to reach a larger mass of consumers and to improve the (perceived) quality of their products and b) trade barriers fall. When transport costs fall, income is redistributed away from the non-exporting to the exporting sector of the economy. As the former turns out to employ workers of higher skill and pay, the effect is to raise wage inequality. Whether the least skilled stand to lose or gain from improved production or communication technologies, in contrast, depends on whether technology is skill-complementary, or a substitute. The model gives an intuitive explanation for the empirical regularities that skill intensity, market size and wages tend to be positively associated with exporting activity across sectors and plants.
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|Date of creation:||Oct 1999|
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- Bradford J Jensen & Andrew B Bernard, 1994.
"Exporters, Skill Upgrading And The Wage Gap,"
94-13, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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"Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?,"
97-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Bernard, Andrew B. & Bradford Jensen, J., 1999. "Exceptional exporter performance: cause, effect, or both?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-25, February.
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"Diversity and Trade,"
192, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
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Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv),
Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 137(1), pages 105-123, March.
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- S. Baranzoni & P. Bianchi & L. Lambertini, 2000. "Multiproduct Firms, Product Differentiation, and Market Structure," Working Papers 368, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
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NBER Working Papers
6213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-59, December.
- Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
- Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "The Economics of Superstars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 845-58, December.
- Phillip L Swagel & Matthew J. Slaughter, 1997. "The Effect of Globalization on Wages in the Advanced Economies," IMF Working Papers 97/43, International Monetary Fund.
- Richard B. Freeman, 1995. "Are Your Wages Set in Beijing?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 15-32, Summer.
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