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Foreign Competition and Wage Inequality

  • J Peter Neary

    (University College Dublin)

I argue that increased foreign competition can affect technical choice and skill differentials even when actual imports do not rise significantly. I present a model of General Oligopolistic Equilibrium ("GOLE") in which a reduction in import barriers (whether technological or policy-imposed) encourages more strategic investment by incumbent firms. The predictions accord with many of the stylised facts - higher skill premia; higher ratios of skilled to unskilled workers employed in all sectors and throughout the economy; little change in import volumes or prices; and rapid technological progress with rather little change in total factor productivity.

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File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/economics/research/papers/2001/WP01.02.pdf
File Function: First version, 2001
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Paper provided by School of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 200102.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 19 Jan 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:200102
Contact details of provider: Postal: UCD, Belfield, Dublin 4
Phone: +353-1-7067777
Fax: +353-1-283 0068
Web page: http://www.ucd.ie/economics

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  1. Hilde Vandenbussche & Jozef Konings, 1998. "Globalization and the effects of national versus international competition on the labour market. Theory and evidence from Belgian firm level data," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces9821, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
  2. Paul Segerstrom & Elias Dinopoulos, 1999. "A Schumpeterian Model of Protection and Relative Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 450-472, June.
  3. 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 478-94, June.
  4. Thoenig, Mathias & Verdier, Thierry, 2000. "Trade Induced Technical Bias And Wage Inequalities: A Theory Of Defensive Innovations," CEPR Discussion Papers 2401, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Krugman, Paul R., 2000. "Technology, trade and factor prices," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 51-71, February.
  6. Barbara J. Spencer & James A. Brander, 1982. "International R&D Rivalry and Industrial Strategy," Working Papers 518, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  7. J. Peter Neary, 2000. "Of Hype and Hyperbolas - Introducing the new Economic Geography," Working Papers 200019, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  8. repec:dgr:rugccs:200215 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Wood, Adrian, 1995. "North-South Trade, Employment and Inequality: Changing Fortunes in a Skill-Driven World," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198290155, March.
  10. Ronald W. Jones, 1997. "Trade, Technology and Income Distribution," Indian Economic Review, Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, vol. 32(2), pages 129-140, July.
  11. Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1984. "The Fat-Cat Effect, the Puppy-Dog Ploy, and the Lean and Hungry Look," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 361-66, May.
  12. Anthony B. Atkinson, 2000. "The Changing Distribution of Income: Evidence and Explanations," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(1), pages 3-18, 02.
  13. Daron Acemoglu, 2003. "Patterns of Skill Premia," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 199-230.
  14. Jaskold Gabszewicz, Jean & Vial, Jean-Philippe, 1972. "Oligopoly "A la cournot" in a general equilibrium analysis," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 381-400, June.
  15. Ekholm, Karolina & Ulltveit-Moe, Karen-Helene, 2001. "Relative Wages and Trade-Induced Changes in Technology," CEPR Discussion Papers 2677, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Volker Nocke, 2000. "Monopolisation and Industry Structure," Economics Series Working Papers 2000-W27, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  17. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  18. James Brander, 1980. "Intra-Industry Trade in Identical Commodities," Working Papers 380, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  19. Feenstra, Robert C & Hanson, Gordon H, 1996. "Globalization, Outsourcing, and Wage Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 240-45, May.
  20. Greenaway, David & Hine, Robert C. & Wright, Peter, 1999. "An empirical assessment of the impact of trade on employment in the United Kingdom," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 485-500, September.
  21. Desjonqueres, Thibaut & Machin, Stephen & Van Reenen, John, 1999. " Another Nail in the Coffin? Or Can the Trade Based Explanation of Changing Skill Structures Be Resurrected?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(4), pages 533-54, December.
  22. Vives, Xavier, 1985. "On the efficiency of Bertrand and Cournot equilibria with product differentation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 166-175, June.
  23. Leahy, Dermot & Neary, J Peter, 1998. "Strategic Trade and Industrial Policy Towards Dynamic Oligopolies," CEPR Discussion Papers 1968, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  24. CORDELLA, Tito & GABSZEWICZ, Jean, 1993. "Comparative Advantage under Oligopoly," CORE Discussion Papers 1993007, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  25. Leahy, Dermot & Neary, J Peter, 1996. "International R&D Rivalry and Industrial Strategy without Government Commitment," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(3), pages 322-38, October.
  26. Dixit, Avinash, 1980. "The Role of Investment in Entry-Deterrence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(357), pages 95-106, March.
  27. Jonathan E. Haskel, 1999. "The Trade and Labour Approaches to Wage Inequality," Working Papers 405, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
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