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Trade's Impact on the Labor Share: Evidence from German and Italian Regions

  • Claudia M. Buch
  • Paola Monti
  • Farid Toubal

Has the labor share declined? And what is the impact of international trade? These questions are not only relevant in an international context they also matter for understanding the regional distribution of incomes in a given country. In this paper, we study two regions with trade exposures that differ from the rest of the country, and which display distinct changes in the labor share. East German and Southern Italian regions have a degree of international openness which is below the countries’ averages. At the same time, there has been a more pronounced decline in the labor share in East Germany than in West Germany. In Southern Italy, the labor share has increased in recent years. We show that increased trade openness is not the main culprit behind changing labor shares.

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File URL: http://www.iaw.edu/RePEc/iaw/pdf/iaw_dp_46.pdf
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Paper provided by Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW) in its series IAW Discussion Papers with number 46.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iaw:iawdip:46
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  1. Samuel Bentolila & Gilles Saint Paul, 1999. "Explaining movements in the labor share," Economics Working Papers 374, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  2. Pasaran, M.H. & Im, K.S. & Shin, Y., 1995. "Testing for Unit Roots in Heterogeneous Panels," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9526, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
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  8. Breitung, Jörg & Pesaran, Mohammad Hashem, 2005. "Unit roots and cointegration in panels," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,42, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  9. Samarjit Das & Joerg Breitung, 2004. "Panel Unit Root Tests under Cross- sectional Dependence," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 55, Econometric Society.
  10. Robert E. Baldwin, 2003. "Openness and Growth: What's the Empirical Relationship?," NBER Working Papers 9578, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Alan Krueger, 1999. "Measuring Labor's Share," Working Papers 792, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  12. Levin, Andrew & Lin, Chien-Fu & James Chu, Chia-Shang, 2002. "Unit root tests in panel data: asymptotic and finite-sample properties," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 1-24, May.
  13. Axel Dreher & Noel Gaston, 2008. "Has Globalization Increased Inequality?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(3), pages 516-536, 08.
  14. Peter Pedroni, 2000. "Fully Modified OLS for Heterogeneous Cointegrated Panels," Department of Economics Working Papers 2000-03, Department of Economics, Williams College.
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