International Trade Patterns and Labor Markets – An Empirical Analysis for EU Member States
During the last decades, international trade flows especially of the industrialized countries allegedly became more and more intra-industry. At the same time, employment perspectives particularly of the low-skilled by tendency deteriorated in these countries. This phenomenon is often traced back to the fact that intra-industry trade, which should theoretically involve low labor market adjustment, became increasingly vertical in nature and might thus entail labor market disruptions. Against this background, the present paper investigates the relationship between international trade patterns and selected labor market indicators in European countries, with a focus on vertical intra-industry trade. As the results show, neither inter- nor vertical intra-industry trade do have a verifiable effect on wage spread in EU member states. As far as structural unemployment is concerned, the latter increases only with the degree of countries’ specialization on capi-tal intensively manufactured products in inter-industry trade relations. Only for unemployment of the less-skilled, a slightly significant impact of superior vertical intra-industry trade seems to exist. However, the link between unemployment of the lower qualified and inter-industry specialization on labor intensive goods as well as parts and components imports is considerably higher.
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