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Firm Heterogeneity, Trade, and Wage Inequality

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Abstract

This paper considers a world of two symmetric countries with two factors and two sectors. Outputs of the two sectors are imperfect substitutes and sectors differ in relative factor inten- sity. Each sector contains a continuum of heterogenous firms that produce differentiated goods within their sector. Trade is costly and there are both variable and fixed costs of exporting. The paper shows that under some plausible conditions supported by the data, trade between similar countries can increase the demand for skilled labor, which in turn increases the wage inequality between skilled and unskilled labor. The quantitative analyses suggest that such trade effects can explain up to 12 percent of the increase in the US skill premium.

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  • Bulent Unel, 2008. "Firm Heterogeneity, Trade, and Wage Inequality," Departmental Working Papers 2008-02, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:lsu:lsuwpp:2008-02
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    Cited by:

    1. Gino Gancia, 2012. "Globalization, technology and inequality," Economics Working Papers 1363, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Nov 2012.
    2. Julian Emami Namini, 2009. "International Trade with Firm Heterogeneity in Factor Shares," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-020/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    3. Petit, Sylvain, 2016. "International trade in services and inequalities: Empirical evaluation and role of tourism services," MPRA Paper 75206, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Dinopoulos, Elias & Syropoulos, Constantinos & Xu, Bin & Yotov, Yoto V., 2011. "Intraindustry trade and the skill premium: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 15-25, May.
    5. Unel, Bulent, 2010. "Analyzing skilled and unskilled labor efficiencies in the US," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 957-967, December.
    6. Anwar, Sajid & Sun, Sizhong & Valadkhani, Abbas, 2013. "International outsourcing of skill intensive tasks and wage inequality," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 590-597.
    7. Emami Namini, Julian, 2014. "The short and long-run impact of globalization if firms differ in factor input ratios," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 37-64.

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