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Globalisation, productive systems, and inequalities

  • Gilles Duranton

Using the idea that the division of labor is limited not only by the extent of the market but also by its heterogeneity, it is proposed in this paper that ''globalisation'' is redrawing the lines of division within and between countries. Our model builds on the concept of productive systems. Our results indicate that progressive trade integration among ''similar'' countries lead first to disparities between countries and then to convergence between nations but also to inequalities within nations (thus possibly accounting for the deterioration of the labor market situation of the unskilled). It is also shown that trade integration among rich economies and/or rising skills therein can lead to the marginalisation of poorer countries (thus possibly accounting for the convergence of countries in the world economy towards a twin-peaked distribution and the delinking of some countries from the world trading system).

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/20252/
File Function: Open access version.
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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 20252.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Sep 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:20252
Contact details of provider: Postal: LSE Library Portugal Street London, WC2A 2HD, U.K.
Phone: +44 (020) 7405 7686
Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/

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  1. Murphy, Kevin M. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1997. "Quality and trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 1-15, June.
  2. Diego Puga, 1996. "The Rise and Fall of Regional Inequalities," CEP Discussion Papers dp0314, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Krugman, Paul & Venables, Anthony J., 1995. "Globalization and the Inequality of Nations," Working Paper Series 430, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  4. Flam, Harry & Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Vertical Product Differentiation and North-South Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 810-22, December.
  5. Wood Júnior, Thomaz, 1995. "Workers," RAE - Revista de Administração de Empresas, FGV-EAESP Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo (Brazil), vol. 35(2), January.
  6. Peter Gottschalk & Timothy M. Smeeding, 1997. "Cross-National Comparisons of Earnings and Income Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 633-687, June.
  7. Adrian Wood, 1995. "How Trade Hurt Unskilled Workers," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 57-80, Summer.
  8. Paul Krugman, 1995. "Growing World Trade: Causes and Consequences," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 327-377.
  9. Ben-David, Dan, 1993. "Equalizing Exchange: Trade Liberalization and Income Convergence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 653-79, August.
  10. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
  11. Kremer, Michael, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-75, August.
  12. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "National and International Returns to Scale in the Modern Theory of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 389-405, June.
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