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The Choice of Structural Model in Trade-Wages Decompositions

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  • Lisandro Abrego
  • John Whalley

Abstract

This paper explores the use of structural models as an alternative to reduced form methods when decomposing observed joint trade and technology driven wage changes into components attributable to each source. Conventional mobile factors Heckscher-Ohlin models typically reveal problems of specialisation unless price changes accompanying trade shocks are small, and can also produce wide ranges for the decomposition for parameterisations consistent with the joint change. A differentiated goods model which generalises Heckscher-Ohlin removes problems of specialisation and concentrates the range of decompositions more narrowly, but introduces larger demand side responses to trade shocks which greatly reduce the effect of trade. The conclusion offered is that the choice of structural model matters for decomposing observed wage changes into trade and technology components, and that reduced-form methods which do not discriminate between alternative structural models may not be that informative for such decompositions.

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  • Lisandro Abrego & John Whalley, 1999. "The Choice of Structural Model in Trade-Wages Decompositions," NBER Working Papers 7312, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7312 Note: ITI
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    Cited by:

    1. Harris, Richard G. & Robertson, Peter E., 2013. "Trade, wages and skill accumulation in the emerging giants," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 407-421.
    2. T. Huw Edwards & John Whalley, 2002. "Short and Long Run Decompositions of OECD Wage Inequality Changes," NBER Working Papers 9265, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Hui Huang & John Whalley, 2003. "The Use of Literature Based Elasticity Estimates in Calibrated Models of Trade-Wage Decompositions: A Calibmetric Approach," NBER Working Papers 10137, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Scott, Ewan & Emerson, Robert D., 2001. "Wage Differentials And Trade Relationships In Jamaica: Applications Of Truncated Regression Models And Repeated Cross-Section Data," 2001 Annual meeting, August 5-8, Chicago, IL 20475, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    5. Emini, Christian Arnault & Kanmi Feunou, Dorine, 2008. "Decomposing the Effects of Economic Policies on Poverty Trends in Cameroon: A Double Calibration Micro Simulated General Equilibrium Analysis," MPRA Paper 14820, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Lisandro Abrego & John Whalley, 2000. "Demand Side Considerations and the Trade and Wages Debate," NBER Working Papers 7674, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Lisandro Abrego & John Whalley, 2002. "Decomposing Wage Inequality Change Using General Equilibrium Models," NBER Working Papers 9184, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Winchester, Niven & Greenaway, David, 2007. "Rising wage inequality and capital-skill complementarity," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 41-54.
    9. Stephen Tokarick, 2002. "Quantifying the Impact of Tradeon Wages; The Role of Nontraded Goods," IMF Working Papers 02/191, International Monetary Fund.
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    14. Christian Arnault Émini & Dorine Kanmi Feunou, 2008. "Décomposition des effets des politiques économiques sur l'évolution de la pauvreté au Cameroun: une analyse en équilibre général micro-simulé avec double calibration," Working Papers MPIA 2008-18, PEP-MPIA.
    15. Sahoo, A., 2008. "Essays on the Indian economy : Competitive pressure, productivity and performance," Other publications TiSEM 374e9035-815c-43fe-a68e-e, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    16. Keshab Bhattarai, 2016. "Growth and Income Distributions in Four EU Economies," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 22(3), pages 263-277, August.
    17. Thierfelder, Karen & Robinson, Sherman, 2002. "Trade and the skilled-unskilled wage gap in a model with differentiated goods," TMD discussion papers 96, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    18. Michael Pflüger, 2003. "Trade, Technology and Labour Markets: Empirical Controversies in the Light of the Jones Model," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 328, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    19. Keshab Raj BHATTARAI, "undated". "Dynamic Multi-Household General Economic Models for Policy Simulations: France, Germany, Spain and UK," EcoMod2009 21500014, EcoMod.
    20. Dirk Velde, 2001. "Foreign direct investment and factor prices in U.S. manufacturing," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 137(4), pages 622-643, December.
    21. Sang-Wook (Stanley) Cho & Juliàn P. Dìaz, 2014. "Accounting for Skill Premium Patterns during the EU Accession: Productivity or Trade?," Discussion Papers 2014-14, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
    22. Niven Winchester, 2006. "Trade and Rising Wage Inequality: What can we learn from a Decade of Computable General Equilibrium Analysis?," Working Papers 0606, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2006.

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    JEL classification:

    • F00 - International Economics - - General - - - General
    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade

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