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Unemployment Benefits as Redistribution Scheme for Trade Gains - A Positive Analysis

  • Marco de Pinto


    (Institute for Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the EU, University of Trier)

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    Trade liberalization is no Pareto-improvement - there are winners (high-skilled) and losers (low-skilled). To compensate the losers the government is assumed to introduce unemployment benefits (UB). These benefits are financed by either a wage tax, a payroll tax, or a profit tax. Using a Melitz-type model of international trade with unionized labour markets and heterogeneous workers we show that: (i) there is a threshold level of UB where all trade gains are destroyed, (ii) this threshold differs between different kind of taxes, (iii) there is a clearcut ranking in terms of welfare for the chosen funding of the UB: 1. wage tax, 2. profit tax, 3. payroll tax.

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    Paper provided by Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU) in its series IAAEU Discussion Papers with number 201204.

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    Date of creation: Oct 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:iaa:dpaper:201204
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    1. Marco de Pinto & Jochen Michaelis, 2011. "International Trade and Unemployment - the Worker-Selection Effect," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201127, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    2. Jakob Roland Munch & Jan Rose Skaksen, 2006. "Human Capital and Wages in Exporting Firms," EPRU Working Paper Series 06-10, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
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    5. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173.
    6. Dixit, Avinash & Norman, Victor, 1986. "Gains from trade without lump-sum compensation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1-2), pages 111-122, August.
    7. Goerke, Laszlo, 1996. "Taxes on Payroll, Revenues and Profits in Three Models of Collective Bargaining," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 43(5), pages 549-65, November.
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    16. Bernd Fitzenberger & Ralf A. Wilke, 2010. "Unemployment Durations in West Germany Before and After the Reform of the Unemployment Compensation System during the 1980s," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 11, pages 336-366, 08.
    17. Davidson, Carl & Matusz, Steven J. & Nelson, Douglas R., 2007. "Can compensation save free trade?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 167-186, March.
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