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Why Ex(Im)porters Pay More: Evidence from Matched Firm-Worker Panels

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  • Luca David Opromolla
  • Pedro Martins

Abstract

We investigate the relationship between exporting, importing, and wage premia using a rich matched employer-employee data set. We improve on the previous literature (i) by using a new methodology to quantify the contribution of an extensive set of worker- and rm-level observable and unobservable characteristics to the wage gap, and (ii) by controlling for the import as well as the export activity of the firm. These two innovations allow us to avoid large biases that characterized the previous literature. A robust result is that the hiring policy of exporters is quite different than the one of importers. While firm size and sales are, to different extents, important components of the wage gap both for exporters and importers, importers hire workers that are overwhelmingly more able than the average. Workers at exporting firms, on the contrary, are no different in terms of unobserved time-invariant characteristics.Our analysis provides a useful guidance for recent theories that aim at explaining participation both in export and import markets and at including non-neoclassical labor market features into trade models.

Suggested Citation

  • Luca David Opromolla & Pedro Martins, 2011. "Why Ex(Im)porters Pay More: Evidence from Matched Firm-Worker Panels," Working Papers w201123, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:ptu:wpaper:w201123
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. James Harrigan & Ariell Reshef & Farid Toubal, 2018. "Techies, Trade, and Skill-Biased Productivity," NBER Working Papers 25295, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Mion, Giordano & Opromolla, Luca David, 2014. "Managers' mobility, trade performance, and wages," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 85-101.
    3. Nakhoda, Aadil, 2012. "The influence of financial leverage of firms on their international trading activities," MPRA Paper 35765, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Mion, Giordano & Opromolla, Luca David & Sforza, Alessandro, 2016. "The Diffusion of Knowledge via Managers' Mobility," CEPR Discussion Papers 11706, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Stefanie A. Haller, 2012. "Intra‐firm trade, exporting, importing, and firm performance," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 45(4), pages 1397-1430, November.
    6. Luca David Opromolla, 2013. "Trade and wage inequality," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles and Banco de Portugal Economic Studies, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    7. Pedro S. Martins, 2016. "Employment Resilience through Services Exports? Evidence from Matched Employer-Employee Data," Working Papers 79, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
    8. João Amador & Luca Opromolla, 2013. "Product and destination mix in export markets," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 149(1), pages 23-53, March.
    9. Julian Emami Namini, 2009. "International Trade with Firm Heterogeneity in Factor Shares," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-020/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    10. Julian Emami Namini & Giovanni Facchini & Ricardo A. López, 2015. "A model of firm heterogeneity in factor intensities and international trade," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 48(4), pages 1456-1480, November.
    11. Cassey Lee, . "Globalization and Wage Inequality: Firm-Level Evidence from Malaysia," Chapters, in: Chine Hee HAHN & Dionisius Narjoko (ed.), Impact of Globalization on Labor Market, chapter 8, pages 197-231, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
    12. Emami Namini, Julian, 2014. "The short and long-run impact of globalization if firms differ in factor input ratios," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 37-64.

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    JEL classification:

    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration

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