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Making Sense of Bolkestein-Bashing: Trade Liberalization Under Segmented Labour Markets

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  • Saint-Paul, Gilles

Abstract

Trade liberalization is often met with sharp opposition. Recent examples include the so-called ‘Bolkestein’ directive, which allows service providers from a given EU member to temporarily work in another member country. One way to view such a reform is that it simply widens the range of goods that are tradable. This kind of reform is analysed in a two-country Dornbusch-Fischer-Samuelson style model, where labour cannot relocate to another sector upon a non-expected increase in the range of goods that can be traded. The effect of liberalization on the terms of trade tend to favour the poorer country (the ‘East’), if (as assumed) the most sophisticated goods are tradable before reform. Second, under ex-post liberalization, there exists a class of workers in the West who are harmed because they face competition from Eastern workers and cannot relocate to other activities. But if the East’s economy is relatively small, their wage losses are not very large. Things are different, however, if there exist asymmetries in labour market institutions, such that upon reform, labour can relocate in the East but not in the West. Some workers in the West can then experience very large wage losses. Thus, rigid labour markets in the West magnify opposition to reform there.

Suggested Citation

  • Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2005. "Making Sense of Bolkestein-Bashing: Trade Liberalization Under Segmented Labour Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 5100, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5100
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    Cited by:

    1. Joseph Francois & Bernard Hoekman, 2010. "Services Trade and Policy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(3), pages 642-692, September.
    2. Ana Lamo & Julian Messina & Etienne Wasmer, 2006. "Are Specific Skills an Obstacle to Labor Market Adjustment? Theory and an Application to the EU Enlargement," Sciences Po publications 585, Sciences Po.
    3. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2018. "Pareto-improving structural reforms," CEPR Discussion Papers 13353, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Potrafke, Niklas, 2013. "Globalization and labor market institutions: International empirical evidence," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 829-842.
    5. Alexandre Janiak, 2008. "Mobility in Europe - Why it is low, the bottlenecks, and the policy solutions," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 340, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    6. Ronald Bachmann & Thomas K. Bauer & Hanna Frings, 2014. "Minimum Wages as a Barrier to Entry: Evidence from Germany," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 28(3), pages 338-357, September.
    7. repec:zbw:rwirep:0329 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. David T Coe, 2010. "Globalisation and labour markets: implications of the emergence of China and India," BIS Papers chapters, in: Globalisation, labour markets and international adjustment - Essays in honour of Palle S Andersen, volume 50, pages 139-157, Bank for International Settlements.
    9. Bank for International Settlements, 2010. "Globalisation, labour markets and international adjustment - Essays in honour of Palle S Andersen," BIS Papers, Bank for International Settlements, number 50, december.
    10. Ronald Bachmann & Thomas K. Bauer & Hanna Kröger, 2012. "Minimum Wages as a Barrier to Entry – Evidence from Germany," Ruhr Economic Papers 0329, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    11. 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, vol. 0, pages 71-104, February.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    bolkestein directive; comparative advantage; european integration; labour market institutions; labour mobility; terms of trade; trade liberalization;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions

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