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Information and Globalization: Wage Co-Movements, Labor Demand Elasticity, and Conventional Trade Liberalization

  • James E. Rauch
  • Vitor Trindade

We model home country familiarity with business opportunities in a foreign country as a parameter in a matching process between domestic and foreign firms. We show that as familiarity increases the effect of relative national labor supplies on relative national wages declines, the elasticity of domestic labor demand increases, and the extent of pass-through' of trade tax changes to home wages increases. Since the volume of trade is increasing in familiarity, trade liberalization has a greater impact on wages when the initial volume of trade is greater, all else equal. As familiarity becomes complete, the results of the 2 x 2 Heckscher-Ohlin-Samuelson model are obtained: relative national wages are fixed by trade taxes independent of relative national labor supplies, domestic labor demand is infinitely elastic, and pass-through of tax changes to wages is complete' in the sense that it is determined entirely by production technology and no arbitrage opportunities remain.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7671.

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Date of creation: Apr 2000
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as "Information, International Substitutability, and Globalization", American Economic Review, Vol. 93 (June 2003), pp. 775-791.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7671
Note: ITI LS
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  1. Portes, Richard & Rey, Hélène, 1999. "The Determinants of Cross-Border Equity Flows," CEPR Discussion Papers 2225, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Engel, Charles & Rogers, John H, 2001. "Violating the Law of One Price: Should We Make a Federal Case Out of It?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(1), pages 1-15, February.
  3. Egan, Mary Lou & Mody, Ashoka, 1992. "Buyer-seller links in export development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 321-334, March.
  4. Dani Rodrik, 1997. "Has Globalization Gone Too Far?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 57.
  5. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
  6. James E. Rauch & Alessandra Casella, 1998. "Overcoming Informational Barriers to International Resource Allocation: Prices and Group Ties," NBER Working Papers 6628, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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