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Economic Integration, Factor Mobility, and Wage Convergence

  • Saint-Paul, G.

This paper studies the effect of economic integrationof two regions on the mobility of skilled and unskilled workersacross regions and on the resulting location of industrial activity.In particular, we study what happens when wages in both regionsare set by the unions of the ‘West’—the region with agreater initial relative stock of human capital. We show thatunder some circumstances, it is the interest of the West's unionsto set up a speed of wage convergence greater than equilibrium,thus generating unemployment in the East. This slows the migrationof human capital toward the East, but quickens the migrationof raw labor toward the West. A greater share of economic activityis eventually located in the Western region. Unions in the Westwill benefit from this provided human capital has low migrationcosts relative to raw labor. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

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Paper provided by DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure) in its series DELTA Working Papers with number 97-01.

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Date of creation: 1997
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in International Tax and Public Finance, 4, pp. 291-306, 1997 ; reprinted in Assaf Razin and Efraim Sadka, editors, The Economics of Globalization, Cambridge U. Press, 1999, pp. 313-332
Handle: RePEc:del:abcdef:97-01
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  1. Burda, Michael C & Funke, Michael, 1991. "German Trade Unions After Unification: Third Degree Wage Discriminating Monopolists?," CEPR Discussion Papers 573, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Burda, Michael C & Wyplosz, Charles, 1991. "Human Capital, Investment and Migration in an Integrated Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 614, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Brecher, Richard A. & Choudhri, Ehsan U., 1987. "International migration versus foreign investment in the presence of unemployment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3-4), pages 329-342, November.
  4. Decressin, Jorg & Fatas, Antonio, 1995. "Regional labor market dynamics in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 1627-1655, December.
  5. Gerlinde Sinn & Hans-Werner Sinn, 1994. "Jumpstart: The Economic Unification of Germany," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262691728, June.
  6. Manfred Keil & Andrew Newell, 1993. "Internal migration and unemployment in Germany: An anglo-irish perspective," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 129(3), pages 514-536, September.
  7. Rudiger Dornbusch & Holger Wolf, 1992. "Economic Transition in Eastern Germany," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(1), pages 235-272.
  8. Schmidt, Christoph M. & Stilz, Anette & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1994. "Mass migration, unions, and government intervention," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 185-201, October.
  9. Jean-Pierre DANTHINE & Jennifer HUNT, 1992. "Wage Bargaining Structure, Employment and Economic Integration," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 9204, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  10. Klaus F. Zimmermann, 1995. "Tackling the European Migration Problems," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 45-62, Spring.
  11. Pissarides, Christopher A & McMaster, Ian, 1990. "Regional Migration, Wages and Unemployment: Empirical Evidence and Implications for Policy," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(4), pages 812-31, October.
  12. Rachel M. Friedberg & J. Hunt, 1995. "The Impact of Immigrants on Host Country Wages, Employment and Growth," Working Papers 95-5, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  13. Gabriel, Stuart A. & Shack-Marquez, Janice & Wascher, William L., 1993. "Does migration arbitrage regional labor market differentials?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 211-233, April.
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