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Labour Markets, Education and Duality of Returns

  • Mamoon, Dawood
  • Murshed, S. Mansoob

The aim of this paper is to examine the impact of increased trade on wage inequality in developing countries, and whether a higher human capital stock moderates this effect. We look at the skilled-unskilled wage differential. When better educated societies open up their economies, increased trade is likely to induce less inequality on impact because the supply of skills better matches demand. But greater international exposure also brings about technological diffusion, further raising skilled labour demand. This may raise wage inequality, in contrast to the initial egalitarian level effect of human capital. We attempt to measure these two opposing forces. We also employ a broad set of indicators to measure trade liberalization policies as well as general openness, which is an outcome, and not a policy variable. We further examine what type of education most reduces inequality. Our findings suggest that countries with a higher level of initial human capital do well on the inequality front, but human capital which accrues through the trade liberalization channel has inegalitarian effects. Our results also have implications for the speed at which trade policies are liberalized, the implication being that better educated nations should liberalize faster.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 29529.

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Date of creation: Mar 2011
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:29529
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  1. Lofgren, Hans, 1999. "Trade reform and the poor in Morocco: a rural-urban general equilibrium analysis of reduced protection," TMD discussion papers 38, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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  7. Rodrik, Dani & Subramanian, Arvind & Trebbi, Francesco, 2002. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 3643, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  9. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
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  13. Rose, Andrew K., 2004. "Do WTO members have more liberal trade policy?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 209-235, July.
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  18. repec:dgr:uvatin:20020001 is not listed on IDEAS
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