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Heterogeneous Workers and International Trade

  • Gene M. Grossman

In this paper, I survey the recent theoretical literature that incorporates heterogeneous labor into models of international trade. The models with heterogeneous labor have been used to study how talent dispersion can be a source of comparative advantage, how the opening of trade affects the full distribution of wages, and how trade affects industry productivity and efficiency via its impact on sorting and matching in the labor market. Some of the most recent contributions also introduce labor market frictions to study the effects of trade on structural unemployment and on mismatch between workers and firms.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18788.

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Date of creation: Feb 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Gene Grossman, 2013. "Heterogeneous workers and international trade," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 149(2), pages 211-245, June.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18788
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  1. Gene M. Grossman & Giovanni Maggi, 1998. "Diversity and Trade," NBER Working Papers 6741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Davidson, Carl & Heyman, Fredrik & Matusz, Steven & Sjöholm, Fredrik & Chun Zhu, Susan, 2010. "Globalization and Imperfect Labor Market Sorting," Working Paper Series 856, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  3. Franziska Ohnsorge & Daniel Trefler, 2007. "Sorting It Out: International Trade with Heterogeneous Workers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(5), pages 868-892, October.
  4. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan & Kircher, Philipp, 2013. "Matching and Sorting in a Global Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 9680, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Paula Bustos, 2009. "Trade Liberalization, Exports and Technology Upgrading: Evidence on the Impact of MERCOSUR on Argentinean Firms," 2009 Meeting Papers 1029, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Arnaud Costinot & Jonathan Vogel, 2009. "Matching and Inequality in the World Economy," NBER Working Papers 14672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. Abowd, J.M. & Kramarz, F. & Margolis, D.N., 1995. "High-Wage Workers and High-Wage Firms," Cahiers de recherche 9503, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  9. Luis Garicano & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2005. "Organization and Inequality in a Knowledge Economy," NBER Working Papers 11458, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Pol Antràs & Luis Garicano & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2006. "Offshoring in a Knowledge Economy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(1), pages 31-77.
  11. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2008. "Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Revising the Revisionists," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 300-323, May.
  12. Schank, Thorsten & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2007. "Do exporters really pay higher wages? First evidence from German linked employer-employee data," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 52-74, May.
  13. Mussa, Michael, 1982. "Imperfect factor mobility and the distribution of income," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1-2), pages 125-141, February.
  14. James Albrecht & Susan Vroman, 2000. "A Matching Model with Endogenous Skill Requirements," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0774, Econometric Society.
  15. Pierre Cahuc & Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2006. "Wage bargaining with on-the-job search: Theory and evidence," Post-Print halshs-00754171, HAL.
  16. Jan Eeckhout & Philipp Kircher, 2009. "Identifying Sorting - In Theory," PIER Working Paper Archive 09-007, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  17. Elhanan Helpman & Oleg Itskhoki & Marc-Andreas Muendler & Stephen Redding, . "Trade and Inequality: From Theory to Estimation," Working Paper 28442, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  18. Bougheas, Spiros & Riezman, Raymond, 2007. "Trade and the distribution of human capital," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 421-433, November.
  19. Grossman, Gene M., 1983. "Partially mobile capital : A general approach to two-sector trade theory," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1-2), pages 1-17, August.
  20. Matilde Bombardini & Giovanni Gallipoli & Germán Pupato, 2009. "Skill Dispersion and Trade Flows," Working Paper Series 20_09, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
  21. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Gene M. Grossman, 2004. "The Distribution of Talent and the Pattern and Consequences of International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(1), pages 209-239, February.
  23. Bombardini, Matilde & Gallipoli, Giovanni & Pupato, Germán, 2014. "Unobservable skill dispersion and comparative advantage," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 317-329.
  24. Arnaud Costinot, 2009. "An Elementary Theory of Comparative Advantage," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(4), pages 1165-1192, 07.
  25. Stole, Lars A & Zwiebel, Jeffrey, 1996. "Organizational Design and Technology Choice under Intrafirm Bargaining," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 195-222, March.
  26. Davidson, Carl & Matusz, Steven J., 2012. "A model of globalization and firm-worker matching: How good is good enough?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 5-15.
  27. Thomas Sampson, 2012. "Selection into Trade and Wage Inequality," CEP Discussion Papers dp1152, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  28. Davidson, Carl & Matusz, Steven J. & Shevchenko, Andrei, 2008. "Globalization and firm level adjustment with imperfect labor markets," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 295-309, July.
  29. Lars A. Stole & Jeffrey Zwiebel, 1996. "Intra-firm Bargaining under Non-binding Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(3), pages 375-410.
  30. Rasmus Lentz, 2012. "An Empirical Model of Wage Dispersion with Sorting," 2012 Meeting Papers 1040, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  31. repec:hrv:faseco:4784031 is not listed on IDEAS
  32. Yeaple, Stephen Ross, 2005. "A simple model of firm heterogeneity, international trade, and wages," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 1-20, January.
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