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The links between internationalization, skills and wages. The role of differences across firms and across partner countries

Listed author(s):
  • Francesco Serti
  • Chiara Tomasi
  • Antonello Zanfei

Using firm level data on Italian manufacturing industry, we examine how trade activities are related to workforce composition and wages. We contribute to empirical research on these issues in three ways. First, we provide novel evidence that is consistent with multi-attribute models on firm heterogeneity and trade. In fact we show that even after controlling for various firm characteristics, including size and capital intensity, exporters still pay higher wages and employ more skilled workers than non exporters. Second, we consider the engagement of firms in international transactions, either by means of exports, imports or a combination of the two. We show that failing to control for the importing activities may bias upward export premia. Third, we look at how the wage and the employment structures of trading firms change with the country of destination and origin of trade flows. We find that wage and skill premia increase for both exporters and importers as they trade with more distant markets. Richer countries are instead associated with higher premia for importers and not for exporters.

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File URL: http://www.lem.sssup.it/WPLem/files/2009-19.pdf
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Paper provided by Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy in its series LEM Papers Series with number 2009/19.

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Date of creation: 10 Dec 2009
Handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2009/19
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  7. Sofronis K. Clerides & Saul Lach & James R. Tybout, 1998. "Is Learning by Exporting Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence from Colombia, Mexico, and Morocco," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 903-947.
  8. Richard Baldwin & James Harrigan, 2011. "Zeros, Quality, and Space: Trade Theory and Trade Evidence," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 60-88, May.
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  15. Schank, Thorsten & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2007. "Do exporters really pay higher wages? First evidence from German linked employer-employee data," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 52-74, May.
  16. Juan Carlos Hallak & Jagadeesh Sivadasan, 2009. "Firms' Exporting Behavior under Quality Constraints," Working Papers 09-13, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  17. Laszlo Halpern & Miklos Koren & Adam Szeidl, 2005. "Import and Productivity," IEHAS Discussion Papers 0509, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
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  19. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  20. Giulio Bottazzi & Marco Grazzi, 2007. "Wage structure in Italian Manufacturing firms," LEM Papers Series 2007/05, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  21. Michele Di Maio & Federico Tamagni, 2008. "The Evolution of World Export Sophistication and the Italian Trade Anomaly," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 98(1), pages 135-174, January-F.
  22. Aw, B. -Y. & Hwang, A. R., 1995. "Productivity and the export market: A firm-level analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 313-332, August.
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