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International Fragmentation and Relative Wages in the UK

Author

Listed:
  • Hijzen, Alexander

    () (OECD)

  • Görg, Holger

    () (Kiel Institute for the World Economy)

  • Hine, Robert C.

    () (University of Nottingham)

Abstract

This paper re-examines the trade-based explanation of increased wage inequality in developed countries by focusing on international outsourcing. It is the first detailed study to address the effects of outsourcing on labour markets in the UK. In a recent paper, Feenstra and Hanson (1996) estimate the effect of international outsourcing on wage inequality in the US. This paper extends the FH approach by using more detailed definitions of outsourcing and skill. The analysis applies to UK manufacturing over the period 1982-1997. Extending the analysis to the 1990s is considered to be crucial as outsourcing is predominantly a phenomenon of the 1990s. The econometric results suggest that technical change, import penetration and outsourcing all play an important role in explaining UK wage inequality. Outsourcing may account for about half of the increase in domestic wage inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Hijzen, Alexander & Görg, Holger & Hine, Robert C., 2003. "International Fragmentation and Relative Wages in the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 717, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp717
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Hartmut Egger & Udo Kreickemeier, 2017. "International Fragmentation: Boon or Bane for Domestic Employment?," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: International Trade and Labor Markets Welfare, Inequality and Unemployment, chapter 9, pages 237-263 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    2. Keiko Ito & Kyoji Fukao, 2005. "Physical and Human Capital Deepening and New Trade Patterns in Japan," NBER Chapters,in: International Trade in East Asia, NBER-East Asia Seminar on Economics, Volume 14, pages 7-52 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Erkki Koskela & Rune Stenbacka, 2007. "Equilibrium Unemployment with Outsourcing and Wage Solidarity under Labour Market Imperfections," CESifo Working Paper Series 1988, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Helg, Rodolfo & Tajoli, Lucia, 2005. "Patterns of international fragmentation of production and the relative demand for labor," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 233-254, August.
    5. Fontagne, Lionel & Mirza, Daniel, 2007. "International trade and rent sharing among developed and developing countries," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 523-558, May.
    6. R. Antonietti & D. Antonioli, 2007. "Conditional Leptokurtosis in Energy Prices: Multivariate Evidence from Futures Markets," Working Papers 594, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    7. Sourafel Girma & Holger Görg, 2004. "Outsourcing, Foreign Ownership, and Productivity: Evidence from UK Establishment-level Data," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(5), pages 817-832, November.
    8. Koskela, Erkki & Stenbacka, Rune, 2010. "Equilibrium unemployment with outsourcing and wage solidarity under labour market imperfections," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 376-392, April.
    9. Alexander Hijzen, 2004. "Trade in Intermediates and the Rise in Wage Inequality in the UK: A GNP Function Approach," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 224, Econometric Society.
    10. Koskela, Erkki & Stenbacka, Rune, 2007. "Equilibrium Unemployment with Outsourcing and Wage Solidarity Under Labour Market Imperfections," IZA Discussion Papers 2733, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Mary Amiti & Shang-Jin Wei, 2005. "Fear of service outsourcing: is it justified?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(42), pages 308-347, April.
    12. Rodolfo Helg & Lucia Tajoli, 2002. "Patterns of International Fragmentation of Production and Implications for the Labor Markets," Working Papers 503, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
    13. Swenson, Deborah L., 2004. "Entry costs and outsourcing decisions: evidence from the U.S. overseas assembly provision," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 267-286, December.
    14. Carmen DÌaz Mora & Rosario Gandoy Juste, "undated". "Estrategias de fragmentaciÛn de la producciÛn: Una realidad en la industria espanola?," Studies on the Spanish Economy 180, FEDEA.
    15. Nicholas Sim, 2004. "International production sharing and economic development: moving up the value-chain for a small-open economy," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(14), pages 885-889.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    fragmentation; outsourcing; trade; wages; skill-biased technological change;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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