Evaluating Labour Adjustment Costs from Trade Shocks: Illustrations for the U.S. Economy Using an Applied General Equilibrium Model With Transactions
This paper presents a general equilibrium approach to calculating labour adjustment costs induced by trade policy changes or external sector shocks, which we illustrate by analyzing the adjustment consequences of eliminating quotas and tariffs on U.S. imports. In our approach, factor adjustments in the presence of transactions costs are endogenously determined within the equilibrium structure. The conventional way of calculating such labour adjustment costs is to use full equilibrium models which exclude adjustment costs, and apply exogenous estimates of duration of unemployment to implied intersectoral labour reallocations. By using an equilibrium model in which adjustment costs are absent, the conventional approach tends to overstate the amount of labour that moves to other sectors and hence introduces an upward bias to estimates of adjustment costs. As well, such an approach tends to ignore the impact on intersectoral wage rates. Our results suggest that concerns over adjustment problems should focus as much on the consequences of adjustment costs in impeding factor mobility, as on the magnitude of the adjustment costs themselves. Compared to the redistributive effects they induce by inhibiting labour movement in response to policy or other changes, these costs may be small.
|Date of creation:||Jan 1994|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Shoven,John B. & Whalley,John, 1992.
"Applying General Equilibrium,"
Cambridge University Press, number 9780521319867, November.
- Nguyen, Trien T. & Whalley, John, 1986. "Equilibrium under price controls with endogenous transactions costs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 290-300, August.
- Bale, Malcolm D., 1976. "Estimates of trade-displacement costs for U.S. workers," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 245-250, August.
- Baldwin, Robert E. & Mutti, John H. & Richardson, J. David, 1980. "Welfare effects on the United States of a significant multilateral tariff reduction," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 405-423, August.
- Foley, Duncan K., 1970. "Economic equilibrium with costly marketing," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 276-291, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4628. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.