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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. Lommerud, Kjell Erik & Meland, Frode & Straume, Odd Rune, 2005. "Globalisation and union opposition to technological change," Working Papers in Economics 01/05, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  2. 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.
  3. Neary, J Peter, 2004. "Cross-Border Mergers as Instruments of Comparative Advantage," CEPR Discussion Papers 4325, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Brander, James A., 1981. "Intra-industry trade in identical commodities," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 1-14, February.
  5. Kjell Erik Lommerud & Frode Meland & Lars S¯rgard, 2003. "Unionised Oligopoly, Trade Liberalisation and Location Choice," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(490), pages 782-800, October.
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  7. Neary, J Peter, 1978. "Dynamic Stability and the Theory of Factor-Market Distortions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(4), pages 671-82, September.
  8. 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).
  9. Naylor, Robin, 1999. "Union Wage Strategies and International Trade," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(452), pages 102-25, January.
  10. Dhillon, Amrita & Petrakis, Emmanuel, 2002. "A generalised wage rigidity result," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 285-311, March.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Huizinga, H.P., 1993. "International market integration and union wage bargaining," Other publications TiSEM 567712dd-8f03-40d8-8428-c, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  18. Dani Rodrik, 1997. "Has Globalization Gone Too Far?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 57, March.
  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, 2002. "The Effects Of Entry In Bilateral Oligopoly," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 638, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  21. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-155144 is not listed on IDEAS
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