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Entrepreneurs, Jobs, and Trade

We propose a simple theory of personal income distribution, equilibrium unemployment, and interindustry trade, in which product markets are perfectly competitive and labor markets exhibit search related frictions. Individuals, based on their managerial talent, choose to become self-employed entrepreneurs and acquire more managerial capital, or they become workers and face the prospect of unemployment. We analyze the effects of trade on a small-open jobless economy and a two-country global economy. In the case of a small-open economy, improvements in international competitiveness raise the possibility of immiserizing recessions with higher unemployment, lower GDP, and lower aggregate welfare. Reductions in the costs of acquiring managerial capital or appropriate job-vacancy subsidies generally lead to lower unemployment rate, higher aggregate welfare, and higher income inequality. In a two-country global economy, a country exports the good with lower labor-market frictions or lower costs of managerial capital acquisition. Unilateral job-creating policies have asymmetric effects on income inequality and unemployment across countries, and ambiguous effects on welfare in each country.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Louisiana State University in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 2013-04.

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Handle: RePEc:lsu:lsuwpp:2013-04
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  1. Dutt, Pushan & Mitra, Devashish & Ranjan, Priya, 2009. "International trade and unemployment: Theory and cross-national evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 32-44, June.
  2. Bulent Unel, . "Human Capital Formation and International Trade," Departmental Working Papers 2013-01, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
  3. Jonathan Haskel & Robert Z. Lawrence & Edward E. Leamer & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2012. "Globalization and U.S. Wages: Modifying Classic Theory to Explain Recent Facts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 119-40, Spring.
  4. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 1978. "On the Size Distribution of Business Firms," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 508-523, Autumn.
  5. Gita Gopinath & Oleg Itskhoki & Brent Neiman, 2011. "Trade Prices and the Global Trade Collapse of 2008-2009," NBER Working Papers 17594, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352.
  7. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Prat, Julien & Schmerer, Hans-Jörg, 2008. "Globalization and Labor Market Outcomes: Wage Bargaining, Search Frictions, and Firm Heterogeneity," IZA Discussion Papers 3363, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Brecher, Richard A, 1974. "Minimum Wage Rates and the Pure Theory of International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 88(1), pages 98-116, February.
  9. Kreickemeier, Udo & Nelson, Douglas, 2006. "Fair wages, unemployment and technological change in a global economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 451-469, December.
  10. Davidson, Carl & Martin, Lawrence & Matusz, Steven, 1999. "Trade and search generated unemployment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 271-299, August.
  11. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Prat, Julien & Schmerer, Hans-Jörg, 2011. "Globalization and labor market outcomes: Wage bargaining, search frictions, and firm heterogeneity," Munich Reprints in Economics 20471, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  12. Davidson, Carl & Martin, Lawrence & Matusz, Steven, 1988. "The Structure of Simple General Equilibrium Models with Frictional Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(6), pages 1267-93, December.
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