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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
Date of revision:
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
Note: ITI
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  1. 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.
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  10. Blanchard, Olivier & Wolfers, Justin, 2000. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C1-33, March.
  11. Stole, Lars A & Zwiebel, Jeffrey, 1996. "Intra-firm Bargaining under Non-binding Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(3), pages 375-410, July.
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  13. Helpman, Elhanan & Itskhoki, Oleg & Redding, Stephen J., 2009. "Inequality and Unemployment in a Global Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 7353, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. 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.
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  26. repec:clu:wpaper:0607-07 is not listed on IDEAS
  27. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
  28. Oleg Itskhoki, 2009. "Optimal Redistribution in an Open Economy," 2009 Meeting Papers 967, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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