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Trade Liberalization and Rising Wage Inequality in Latin America: Reconciliation with HOS Theory

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  • Manoj Atolia

    () (Department of Economics, Florida State University)

Abstract

The paper puts forward the hypothesis that transitory effects of trade liberalization on wage inequality can differ from the long-run outcome based on the HOS theory. In cases where HOS theory predicts a decline in wage inequality in the long run, a temporary rise can occur due to (i) asymmetries in the speed of contraction in the import sector and expansion in other sectors, and (ii) capital-skill complementarity in production. Asymmetric contraction and expansion causes transitory capital accumulation that boosts the relative and the real wage of the skilled labor due to capital-skill complementarity. Although long-run HOS fundamentals are, therefore, dominated in short run by the transient effects arising due to capital-skill complementarity, the observed rise in wage inequality is, nevertheless, consistent with the HOS theory appropriately extended to a dynamic setting.

Suggested Citation

  • Manoj Atolia, 2002. "Trade Liberalization and Rising Wage Inequality in Latin America: Reconciliation with HOS Theory," Working Papers wp2002_03_01, Department of Economics, Florida State University, revised Feb 2006.
  • Handle: RePEc:fsu:wpaper:wp2002_03_01
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    Cited by:

    1. Julian Emami Namini & Ricardo A. López, 2013. "Factor price overshooting with trade liberalization: theory and evidence," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 60(2), pages 139-181, May.
    2. repec:unu:wpaper:wp2012-03 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Sámano, Claudia & Szekely, Miguel, 2012. "Did Trade Openness Affect Income Distribution in Latin America? Evidence for the Years 1980?2010," WIDER Working Paper Series 003, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Jørn Rattsø & Hildegunn E. Stokke, 2013. "Trade, Skill Biased Technical Change and Wage Inequality in South Africa," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(3), pages 419-431, August.
    5. Rossana Patron & Marcel Vaillant, 2012. "Can Education Policy Address The Wage Gap? A Note On Public Skill Formation In Developing Countries," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(3), pages 369-378, April.
    6. Gerardo Esquivel, 2011. "The Dynamics of Income Inequality in Mexico since NAFTA," ECONOMIA JOURNAL, THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION - LACEA, vol. 0(Fall 2011), pages 155-188, August.
    7. Leonardo Gasparini & Nora Lustig, 2011. "The Rise and Fall of Income Inequality in Latin America," Working Papers 1110, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    8. Yan Ma & Fumio Dei, 2009. "Product Quality, Wage Inequality, and Trade Liberalization," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(SI), pages 244-260, May.
    9. Raymundo Campos & Gerardo Esquivel & Nora Lustig, 2012. "The Rise and Fall of Income Inequality in Mexico, 1989–2010," Working Papers 267, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    10. Manoj Atolia & Yoshinori Kurokawa, 2008. "Variety Trade and Skill Premium in a Calibrated General Equilibrium Model: The Case of Mexico," Working Papers wp2008_11_03, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
    11. Sebastián Galiani & Guido Porto, 2011. "Trends in Tariff Reforms and Trends in the Structure of Wages," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0124, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    12. Gasparini, Leonardo & Galiani, Sebastian & Cruces, Guillermo & Acosta, Pablo, 2011. "Educational upgrading and returns to skills in Latin America : evidence from a supply-demand framework, 1990-2010," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5921, The World Bank.
    13. Manoj Atolia, 2003. "Public Investment, Tax Evasion and Welfare Effects of a Tariff Reform," Working Papers wp2003_10_01, Department of Economics, Florida State University, revised Oct 2008.
    14. repec:unu:wpaper:wp2012-10 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Zhang, Jingjing, 2013. "Factor mobility and skilled–unskilled wage inequality in the presence of internationally traded product varieties," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 579-585.
    16. Arslan Razmi, 2009. "Can the HOSS framework help shed light on the simultaneous growth of inequality and informalization in developing countries?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 145(2), pages 361-372, July.
    17. Atolia, Manoj & Kurokawa, Yoshinori, 2016. "The impact of trade margins on the skill premium: Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 895-915.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Wage Inequality; Trade Reform; HOS; Capital-Skill Complementarity; Dynamic Analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F17 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Forecasting and Simulation
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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