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What Are the Results of Product-Price Studies and What Can We Learn From Their Differences?

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  • Matthew J. Slaughter

Abstract

In recent years many economists have analyzed whether international trade has contributed to rising U.S. wage inequality by changing relative product prices. In this paper I survey the findings of nine product-price' studies which together demonstrate how the methodology of product-price studies has evolved. I then synthesize the findings of these nine studies and draw two main conclusions. The first conclusion is that this literature has a refined set of empirical strategies for applying the Stolper-Samuelson theorem to the data from which important methodological lessons can be learned. The second main conclusion is that despite the methodological progress that has been made, research to date still has fundamental limitations regarding the key question of how much international trade has contributed to rising wage inequality. Most importantly, more work needs to link exogenous forces attributable to international trade to actual product-price changes.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew J. Slaughter, 1998. "What Are the Results of Product-Price Studies and What Can We Learn From Their Differences?," NBER Working Papers 6591, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6591
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Feenstra, Robert C, 1994. "New Product Varieties and the Measurement of International Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 157-177, March.
    2. Alan B. Krueger, 1997. "Labor Market Shifts and the Price Puzzle Revisited," Working Papers 754, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    3. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1995. "Foreign Investment, Outsourcing and Relative Wages," NBER Working Papers 5121, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1992. "Regional Evolutions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(1), pages 1-76.
    5. Baldwin, Robert E & Hilton, R Spence, 1984. "A Technique for Indicating Comparative Costs and Predicting Changes in Trade Ratios," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(1), pages 105-110, February.
    6. William Alterman, 1991. "Price Trends in U.S. Trade: New Data, New Insights," NBER Chapters,in: International Economic Transactions: Issues in Measurement and Empirical Research, pages 109-143 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. R. E. Baldwin & G. G. Cain, "undated". "Shifts in U.S. Relative Wages: The Role of Trade, Technology, and Factor Endowments," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1132-97, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    8. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Howard J. Shatz, 1994. "Trade and Jobs in Manufacturing," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(1), pages 1-84.
    9. Ethier, Wilfred J., 1984. "Higher dimensional issues in trade theory," Handbook of International Economics,in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 3, pages 131-184 Elsevier.
    10. repec:fth:prinin:375 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Jonathan E. Haskel & Matthew J. Slaughter, 1998. "Does the Sector Bias of Skill-Biased Technical Change Explain Changing Wage Inequality?," NBER Working Papers 6565, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Alan Krueger, 1997. "Labor Market Shifts and the Price Puzzle Revisited," Working Papers 754, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    13. Deardorff, Alan V., 1984. "Testing trade theories and predicting trade flows," Handbook of International Economics,in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 467-517 Elsevier.
    14. Hakura, D. & Deardorff, A.V., 1993. "Trade and Wages: What Are the Questions?," Working Papers 341, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
    15. Richard B. Freeman, 1995. "Are Your Wages Set in Beijing?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 15-32, Summer.
    16. Edward E. Leamer, 1996. "In Search of Stolper-Samuelson Effects on U.S. Wages," NBER Working Papers 5427, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Herrmann-Pillath Carsten, 2001. "A General Refutation of the Law of One Price as Empirical Hypothesis / Eine allgemeine Widerlegung des „Gesetzes des einheitlichen Preises“ als einer empirischen Hypothese," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 221(1), pages 45-67, February.
    2. Kristin Forbes, 2001. "Skill classification does matter: estimating the relationship between trade flows and wage inequality," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(2), pages 175-209.
    3. Christis G. Tombazos, 2010. "Trade and Wage Inequality in a World of Incomplete Diversification," Chapters,in: Globalization and Economic Integration, chapter 8 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Stephen Tokarick, 2002. "Quantifying the Impact of Tradeon Wages; The Role of Nontraded Goods," IMF Working Papers 02/191, International Monetary Fund.
    5. James Harrigan, 2000. "International Trade and American Wages in General Equilibrium, 1967-1995," NBER Chapters,in: The Impact of International Trade on Wages, pages 171-196 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Derbel, Hatem & Abdelkafi, Rami & Chkir, Ali, 2007. "Impact du commerce extérieur sur la productivité au sein des secteurs en Tunisie : cas de l’industrie manufacturière
      [Impact of foreign trade on productivity within sectors in Tunisia: the case of
      ," MPRA Paper 8533, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Oct 2007.
    7. Pavcnik, Nina, 2003. "What explains skill upgrading in less developed countries?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 311-328, August.
    8. J. Paul Dunne & Lawrence Edwards, 2006. "Trade Technology and Employment: A case Study of South Africa," Working Papers 0602, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
    9. Koeniger, Winfried, 2001. "Trade, Labor Market Rigidities, and Government-Financed Technological Change," IZA Discussion Papers 241, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Francois, Joseph & Nelson, Doug R, 2000. "Victims of Progress: Economic Integration, Specialization and Wages for Unskilled Labour," CEPR Discussion Papers 2527, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Ilina Srour & Erol Taymaz & Marco Vivarelli, 2014. "Globalization, Technology and Skills: Evidence from Turkish Longitudinal Microdata," ERC Working Papers 1405, ERC - Economic Research Center, Middle East Technical University, revised Jun 2014.
    12. Rigby, D L & Breau, Sebastien, 2007. "Impacts of Trade on Wage Quality in Los Angeles: Analysis Using Matched Employer-Employee Data," Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series qt0fh5z1hf, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.
    13. David Rigby & Sebastien Breau, 2006. "Impacts of Trade on Wage Inequality in Los Angeles: Analysis Using Matched Employer-Employee Data," Working Papers 06-12, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    14. Baak, SaangJoon, 2012. "Measuring misalignments in the Korean exchange rate," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 227-234.
    15. Jeff Borland, 2000. "Economic Explanations of Earnings Distribution Trends in the International Literature and Application to New Zealand," Treasury Working Paper Series 00/16, New Zealand Treasury.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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