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Trade with Labor Market Distortions and Heterogeneous Labor: Why Trade Can Hurt

  • Kala Krishna
  • Abhiroop Mukhopadhyay
  • Cemile Yavas

This paper explains the differential impacts of trade on countries in terms of institutional differences which result in factor market distortions. We modify the Ricardian, Specific Factor and Hecksher Ohlin models of trade to capture these. Trade has both terms of trade effects and output effects. Both work to raise welfare in an undistorted economy. In a distorted economy, price effects work to improve welfare, while output effects work to reduce it. Large distorted countries are more likely to lose from trade as beneficial price effects are lower. In addition the greater the substitutability between goods, the more likely it is that welfare rises through trade.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w9086.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9086.

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Date of creation: Jul 2002
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Publication status: published as Krishna, Kala & Yavas, Cemile, 2005. "When trade hurts: Consumption indivisibilities and labor market distortions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 413-427, December.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9086
Note: ITI
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  1. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "Decreasing Costs in International Trade and Frank Graham's Argument for Protection," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1243-68, September.
  2. Gérard Roland & Thierry Verdier, 1999. "Transition and the output fall," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 7(1), pages 1-28, March.
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  5. Brecher, Richard A., 1974. "Optimal commercial policy for a minimum-wage economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 139-149, May.
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  7. Blanchard, Olivier & Kremer, Michael R., 1997. "Disorganization," Scholarly Articles 3659691, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Davis, Donald R, 1998. "Does European Unemployment Prop Up American Wages? National Labor Markets and Global Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 478-94, June.
  9. Rodrik, Dani, 1987. "Policy Targeting with Endogenous Distortions: Theory of Optimum Subsidy Revisited," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(4), pages 903-11, November.
  10. Brecher, Richard A, 1974. "Minimum Wage Rates and the Pure Theory of International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 88(1), pages 98-116, February.
  11. Brecher, Richard A., 1992. "An efficiency-wage model with explicit monitoring : Unemployment and welfare in an open economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1-2), pages 179-191, February.
  12. Weiss, Andrew W, 1980. "Job Queues and Layoffs in Labor Markets with Flexible Wages," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(3), pages 526-38, June.
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