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Trade, Firms, and Wages: Theory and Evidence

  • Amiti, Mary
  • Davis, Donald R

How does trade liberalization affect wages? This is the first paper to consider in theory and data how the impact of final and intermediate input tariff cuts on workers’ wages varies with the global engagement of their firm. Our model predicts that a fall in output tariffs lowers wages at import-competing firms, but boosts wages at exporting firms. Similarly, a fall in input tariffs raises wages at import-using firms relative to those at firms that only source locally. Using highly detailed Indonesian manufacturing census data for the period 1991 to 2000, we find considerable support for the model’s predictions.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6872.

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Date of creation: Jun 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6872
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  1. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1990. "The Fair Wage-Effort Hypothesis and Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 255-83, May.
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  9. Verhoogen, Eric, 2007. "Trade, Quality Upgrading and Wage Inequality in the Mexican Manufacturing Sector," IZA Discussion Papers 2913, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  11. Arai, Mahmood, 1999. "Wages, Profits and Capital Intensity: Evidence from Matched Worker-Firm Data," Research Papers in Economics 1999:3, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  12. Mary Amiti, 2000. "Trade Liberalisation of Intermediate Inputs," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 33(4), pages 299-302.
  13. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2004. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence from French Firms," 2004 Meeting Papers 802, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  18. Levine, David I, 1993. "Fairness, Markets, and Ability to Pay: Evidence from Compensation Executives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1241-59, December.
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  23. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-41, September.
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  25. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1999. "The Impact Of Outsourcing And High-Technology Capital On Wages: Estimates For The United States, 1979-1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 907-940, August.
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