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Anti-Trade Agitation and Distribution-Neutral Tax Policy- An Elementary Framework

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  • Sugata Marjit

Abstract

The recent Brexit episode is being interpreted in some quarters as an anti-globalisation backlash. Free trade does not promise gains for all without a proper compensating mechanism that allows winners to bribe the losers. Also standard prediction of trade theory does point towards increasing wage inequality for the relatively skill abundant developed world. Theoretical discussion on compensating mechanism that addresses inequality is rare in trade literature. In a simple HOS model we consider tax policies that keep the pre-trade degree of inequality unchanged between skilled and unskilled workers. We discuss the problem of existence of such an inequality-neutral tax rate that generates a positive increment in the after tax skilled wage. Such a mechanism is likely to exist and is independent of whether the tax is progressive or proportional.

Suggested Citation

  • Sugata Marjit, 2016. "Anti-Trade Agitation and Distribution-Neutral Tax Policy- An Elementary Framework," Discussion Papers 2016-14, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  • Handle: RePEc:not:notgep:16/14
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    File URL: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/gep/documents/papers/2016/2016-14.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Subhayu Bandyopadhyay & Sugata Marjit & Lei Yang, 2014. "International oligopoly, barriers to outsourcing and domestic employment," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1372-1386, November.
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    3. Robert C. Feenstra, 2010. "Offshoring in the Global Economy: Microeconomic Structure and Macroeconomic Implications," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262013835.
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    6. Paul R. Krugman, 2008. "Trade and Wages, Reconsidered," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(1 (Spring), pages 103-154.
    7. Davis, Donald R. & Harrigan, James, 2011. "Good jobs, bad jobs, and trade liberalization," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 26-36, May.
    8. Sugata Marjit & Hamid Beladi & Avik Chakrabarti, 2004. "Trade and Wage Inequality in Developing Countries," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 42(2), pages 295-303, April.
    9. Anthony B. Atkinson, 2000. "The Changing Distribution of Income: Evidence and Explanations," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(1), pages 3-18, February.
    10. 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 478-494, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Trade Model; Wage inequality; Compensation mechanism; Tax policy;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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