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International Trade, Union Wage Premia,and Welfare in General Equilibrium

We study how two distinct forms of globalisation, trade cost reductions and opening up of trade in previously shielded sectors, affect sector-specific wages, employment levels and aggregate welfare in a two-country model of general oligopolistic equilibrium (GOLE) with partly unionised labour markets. We find that both forms of globalisation increase union coverage, and they also lead to a lower union wage premium in shielded sectors. In contrast, wage premium in open sectors and aggregate welfare are affected differently by the two types of globalisation. Trade cost reductions in open sectors always lead to higher union wage premia and to lower aggregate welfare, while an increased number of open sectors lowers the union wage premium, and it may also increase welfare.

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Paper provided by University of Bergen, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 04/11.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 25 Mar 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:bergec:2011_004
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Institutt for økonomi, Universitetet i Bergen, Postboks 7802, 5020 Bergen, Norway

Phone: (+47)55589200
Fax: (+47)55589210
Web page: http://www.uib.no/econ/en
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  1. Lommerud, Kjell Erik & Straume, Odd Rune & Sørgard, Lars, 2003. "National versus international mergers in unionised oligopoly," Working Papers in Economics 12/03, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
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  19. Rasmussen, Bo Sandemann, 1992. " Union Cooperation and Nontraded Goods in General Equilibrium," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 94(4), pages 561-79.
  20. Bastos, Paulo & Kreickemeier, Udo & Wright, Peter, 2009. "Oligopoly, open shop unions and trade liberalisation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 679-686, November.
  21. Mezzetti, C. & Dinopoulos, E., 1989. "Domestic Unionization And Import Competition," Papers 337, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
  22. Naylor, Robin, 1998. "International trade and economic integration when labour markets are generally unionised," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(7), pages 1251-1267, July.
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  24. Munch, Jakob Roland & Skaksen, Jan Rose, 2002. " Product Market Integration and Wages in Unionized Countries," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(2), pages 289-99, June.
  25. Brander, James A. & Spencer, Barbara J., 1988. "Unionized oligopoly and international trade policy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3-4), pages 217-234, May.
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