IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/8286.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Trade and the Skill Premium Puzzle with Capital Market Imperfections

Author

Listed:
  • Bonfatti, Roberto
  • Ghatak, Maitreesh

Abstract

An interesting puzzle is that trade liberalization in the 1980s and 1990s has been associated with a sharp increase in the skill premium in both developed and developing countries. This is in contrast with neoclassical theory, according to which trade should increase the relative return of the relatively abundant factor. We develop a simple model of trade with capital market imperfections, and show that trade can increase the skill premium in both the North and the South, and both in the short run as well as in the long run. We show that trade with a skill-intensive economy has two effects: it reduces the skilled wage, and thus discourages non talented agents out of the skilled labor force; and it reduces the cost of subsistence, thus allowing the talented offspring of unskilled workers to go to school. This compositional effect has a positive effect on the observed skill premium, possibly strong enough to counterweight the decrease in the skilled wage.

Suggested Citation

  • Bonfatti, Roberto & Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2011. "Trade and the Skill Premium Puzzle with Capital Market Imperfections," CEPR Discussion Papers 8286, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8286
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=8286
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Eric A. Verhoogen, 2008. "Trade, Quality Upgrading, and Wage Inequality in the Mexican Manufacturing Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 489-530.
    2. Chesnokova, Tatyana & Krishna, Kala, 2009. "Skill acquisition, credit constraints, and trade," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 227-238, March.
    3. Naércio Aquino Menezes Filho & Marc-Andreas Muendler, 2007. "Labor Reallocation in Response to Trade Reform," CESifo Working Paper Series 1936, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Wacziarg, Romain & Wallack, Jessica Seddon, 2004. "Trade liberalization and intersectoral labor movements," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 411-439, December.
    5. Ranjan, Priya, 2001. "Credit constraints and the phenomenon of child labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 81-102, February.
    6. Attanasio, Orazio & Goldberg, Pinelopi K. & Pavcnik, Nina, 2004. "Trade reforms and wage inequality in Colombia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 331-366, August.
    7. Nancy L. Stokey, 1991. "Human Capital, Product Quality, and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 587-616.
    8. Das, Satya P., 2006. "Trade, skill acquisition and distribution," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 118-141, October.
    9. Kletzer, Kenneth & Bardhan, Pranab, 1987. "Credit markets and patterns of international trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1-2), pages 57-70, October.
    10. Ranjan, Priya, 2003. "Trade induced convergence through human capital accumulation in credit-constrained economies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 139-162, October.
    11. Ranjan, Priya, 2001. "Dynamic evolution of income distribution and credit-constrained human capital investment in open economies," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 329-358, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Bonfatti, Roberto & Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2013. "Trade and the allocation of talent with capital market imperfections," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 187-201.
    2. Santra, Sattwik, 2014. "Non-homothetic preferences: Explaining unidirectional movements in wage differentials," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 87-97.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    credit market frictions; Latin America; skill premium; trade liberalization;

    JEL classification:

    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8286. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.