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Unions, Competition and International Trade in General Equilibrium

  • Paulo Bastos
  • Udo Kreickemeier

We develop a two-country, multi-sector model of oligopoly in which unionised and non-unionised sectors interact in general equilibrium. The model is used to study the impact of trade liberalisation, deunionisation and firm entry on wages in unionised and non-unionised sectors, and on welfare. We find that a shift from autarky to free trade increases non-union wages and welfare, whereas the effect on union wages is ambiguous. We also show that partial deunionisation leads to higher wages in both unionised and non-unionised sectors, but only increases welfare when the proportion of unionised sectors is sufficiently low. Finally, wages in non-unionised sectors necessarily increase with firm entry, while the response of union wages and welfare depends on the trade regime.

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Paper provided by University of Nottingham, GEP in its series Discussion Papers with number 08/28.

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Handle: RePEc:not:notgep:08/28
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  1. Dani Rodrik, 1997. "Has Globalization Gone Too Far?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 57.
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  4. J. Peter Neary, 2007. "Cross-Border Mergers as Instruments of Comparative Advantage," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(4), pages 1229-1257.
  5. Lommerud, Kjell Erik & Meland, Frode & Straume, Odd Rune, 2003. "Globalisation and union opposition to technological change
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  6. Lommerud, Kjell Erik & Straume, Odd Rune & Sørgard, Lars, 2003. "National versus international mergers in unionised oligopoly," Working Papers in Economics 12/03, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  7. Munch, Jakob Roland & Skaksen, Jan Rose, 2002. " Product Market Integration and Wages in Unionized Countries," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(2), pages 289-99, June.
  8. Straume, Odd Rune, 2003. "International mergers and trade liberalisation: implications for unionised labour," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 717-735, May.
  9. Huizinga, Harry, 1993. " International Market Integration and Union Wage Bargaining," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(2), pages 249-55.
  10. Lommerud, Kjell Erik & Meland, Frode & Sørgard, Lars, 2001. "Unionized Oligopoly, Trade Liberalization and Location Choice," CEPR Discussion Papers 2990, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Jan Rose SØRENSEN, 1993. "Integration of Product Markets when Labour Markets are Unionized," Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) 1993044, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  12. Brander, James A. & Spencer, Barbara J., 1988. "Unionized oligopoly and international trade policy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3-4), pages 217-234, May.
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  14. Mezzetti, C. & Dinopoulos, E., 1989. "Domestic Unionization And Import Competition," Papers 337, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
  15. James Brander, 1980. "Intra-Industry Trade in Identical Commodities," Working Papers 380, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  16. Jagdish Bhagwati & Arvind Panagariya & T. N. Srinivasan, 1998. "Lectures on International Trade, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522470, June.
  17. Dhillon, Amrita & Petrakis, Emmanuel, 2002. "A generalised wage rigidity result," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 285-311, March.
  18. Johnson, Harry G & Mieszkowski, Peter, 1970. "The Effects of Unionization on the Distribution of Income: A General Equilibrium Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(4), pages 539-61, November.
  19. Jones, Ronald W, 1971. "Distortions in Factor Markets and the General Equilibrium Model of Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(3), pages 437-59, May-June.
  20. Naylor, Robin, 1998. "International trade and economic integration when labour markets are generally unionised," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(7), pages 1251-1267, July.
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