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Smoothing the adjustment to trade liberalization

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  • Wolfgang Lechthaler
  • Mariya Mileva

Abstract

We use a dynamic general equilibrium trade model with comparative advantage, heterogeneous firms, heterogeneous workers and endogenous firm entry to analyze economic policy to compensate the losers of trade liberalization and to reduce the ensuing wage inequality. We consider several instruments of economic policy: a wage tax to redistribute income between skilled and unskilled workers; sector-specific consumption taxes and profit taxes to affect inter-sectoral wage inequality; sector-specific firm entry subsidies, worker sector-migration subsidies and training subsidies to speed up the adjustment process. We find that the re-distributional and efficiency effects of these instruments differ very much. Probably the most potent tool to reduce the wage inequality after trade liberalization are training subsidies. Although the policy also generates inefficiencies because too many workers are trained, the costs of these inefficiencies are relatively low.

Suggested Citation

  • Wolfgang Lechthaler & Mariya Mileva, 2014. "Smoothing the adjustment to trade liberalization," WWWforEurope Working Papers series 61, WWWforEurope.
  • Handle: RePEc:feu:wfewop:y:2014:m:5:d:0:i:61
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Lechthaler, Wolfgang & Mileva, Mariya, 2016. "Inter-industry trade and business cycle dynamics," Kiel Working Papers 2041, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Trade liberalization; wage inequality; adjustment dynamics; re-distribution;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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