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Trade and Labor Market Outcomes

  • Elhanan Helpman
  • Oleg Itskhoki
  • Stephen Redding

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.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16662.

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Date of creation: Jan 2011
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Publication status: published as E.Helpman, O.Itskhoki, S. Redding, Trade and labor market outcomes, in Daron Acemoglu, Manuel Arellano and Eddie Dekel (eds.), Advances in Economics and Econometrics: Theory and Application. Tenth World Congress , Volume II: Applied Economics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 2013.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16662
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  1. Feenstra, R.C. & Hanson, G.H., 1995. "Foreign Investment, Outsourcing and Relative Wages," Department of Economics 95-14, California Davis - Department of Economics.
  2. Hartmut Egger & Udo Kreickemeier, 2007. "Firm Heterogeneity and the Labour Market Effects of Trade Liberalisation," CESifo Working Paper Series 2000, CESifo Group Munich.
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  4. Stephen Nickell & Luca Nunziata & Wolfgang Ochel & Glenda Quintini, 2001. "The Beveridge Curve, Unemployment and Wages in the OECD from the 1960s to the 1990s - Preliminary Version," CEP Discussion Papers dp0502, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Naércio Aquino Menezes-Filho & Marc-Andreas Muendler & Garey Ramey, 2008. "The Structure of Worker Compensation in Brazil, with a Comparison to France and the United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 324-346, May.
  6. Antras, Pol & Helpman, Elhanan, 2004. "Global Sourcing," Scholarly Articles 3196327, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Helpman, Elhanan & Itskhoki, Oleg, 2010. "Labour Market Rigidities, Trade and Unemployment," Scholarly Articles 25586655, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Elhanan Helpman & Oleg Itskhoki & Stephen Redding, 2010. "Inequality and Unemployment in a Global Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(4), pages 1239-1283, 07.
  9. Defever, Fabrice & Toubal, Farid, 2011. "Productivity, Relationship-Specific Inputs and the Sourcing Modes of Multinationals," CEPR Discussion Papers 8656, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Mitra, Devashish & Ranjan, Priya, 2007. "Offshoring and Unemployment," IZA Discussion Papers 2805, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  12. Oi, Walter Y. & Idson, Todd L., 1999. "Firm size and wages," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 33, pages 2165-2214 Elsevier.
  13. Matusz, Steven J, 1986. "Implicit Contracts, Unemployment and International Trade," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(382), pages 307-22, June.
  14. 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.
  15. Olivier Blanchard & Justin Wolfers, 1999. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  22. Ricardo, David, 1821. "On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, edition 3, number ricardo1821.
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  24. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. Richard A. Brecher, 1974. "Minimum Wage Rates and the Pure Theory of International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 88(1), pages 98-116.
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