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Trade and Labor Market Outcomes

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  • Elhanan Helpman
  • Oleg Itskhoki
  • Stephen Redding

Abstract

This paper reviews a new framework for analyzing the interrelationship between inequality, unemployment, labor market frictions, and foreign trade. This framework emphasizes firm heterogeneity and search and matching frictions in labor markets. It implies that the opening of trade may raise inequality and unemployment, but always raises welfare. Unilateral reductions in labor market frictions increase a country's welfare, can raise or reduce its unemployment rate, yet always hurt the country's trade partner. Unemployment benefits can alleviate the distortions in a country's labor market in some cases but not in others, but they can never implement the constrained Pareto optimal allocation. We characterize the set of optimal policies, which require interventions in product and labor markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Elhanan Helpman & Oleg Itskhoki & Stephen Redding, 2011. "Trade and Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 16662, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16662
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    Cited by:

    1. Zierahn, Ulrich, 2012. "Monocentric cities, endogenous agglomeration, and unemployment disparities," HWWI Research Papers 130, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
    2. Ulrich Zierahn, 2013. "Agglomeration, congestion, and regional unemployment disparities," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 51(2), pages 435-457, October.
    3. Pflüger, Michael P. & Russek, Stephan, 2010. "Trade and Industrial Policies with Heterogeneous Firms: The Role of Country Asymmetries," IZA Discussion Papers 5387, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Cacciatore, Matteo, 2014. "International trade and macroeconomic dynamics with labor market frictions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 17-30.
    5. Luca David Opromolla & Pedro Martins, 2011. "Why Ex(Im)porters Pay More: Evidence from Matched Firm-Worker Panels," Working Papers w201123, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    6. Sebastian Benz & Erdal Yalcin, 2015. "Productivity Versus Employment: Quantifying the Economic Effects of an EU–Japan Free Trade Agreement," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(6), pages 935-961, June.
    7. Juhn, Chinhui & Ujhelyi, Gergely & Villegas-Sanchez, Carolina, 2014. "Men, women, and machines: How trade impacts gender inequality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 179-193.
    8. Povilas Lastauskas & Julius Stakenas, 2016. "Openness and Structural Labour Market Reforms: Counterfactuals for Lithuania," Bank of Lithuania Discussion Paper Series 1, Bank of Lithuania.
    9. Swati Dhingra & John Morrow, 2012. "The Impact of Integration on Productivity and Welfare Distortions Under Monopolistic Competition," FIW Working Paper series 088, FIW.
    10. John C. Anyanwu, 2014. "Does Intra-African Trade Reduce Youth Unemployment in Africa?," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 26(2), pages 286-309, June.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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