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Relative Wages and Trade-Induced Changes in Technology

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  • Ekholm, Karolina
  • Ulltveit-Moe, Karen-Helene

Abstract

We develop a model where trade liberalization leads to skill-biased technological change, which in turn raises the relative return to skilled labour. As firms get access to a larger market, they have incentives to choose a more skill-intensive technology because a lowering of variable costs requires additional use of skilled labour. This way, we establish a link between trade, technology and relative returns to skilled and unskilled labour. Moreover, we show that as market integration continues and trade costs fall below a certain threshold, the relative return to skilled labour may fall.

Suggested Citation

  • Ekholm, Karolina & Ulltveit-Moe, Karen-Helene, 2001. "Relative Wages and Trade-Induced Changes in Technology," CEPR Discussion Papers 2677, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2677
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Imperfect Competition; Technology; Trade; Trade Liberalization; Wages;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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