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Exporters, Importers and Two-way Traders: the Links between Internationalization, Skills and Wages

  • Francesco Serti

    ()

    (Scuola Superiore S. Anna, Pisa)

  • Chiara Tomasi

    ()

    (Scuola Superiore S. Anna, Pisa & Università di Urbino)

  • Antonello Zanfei

    ()

    (Istituto di Scienze Economiche, Università degli Studi di Urbino "Carlo Bo")

How do trade activities affect firms' employment and wages structures? Using firm level data on Italian manufacturing firms, this paper adds to the existing literature, by assessing how the degree of involvement in international trade impacts on workforce composition, earning levels and wage inequality. We differentiate firms involved in both trading activities - namely two-way traders - from firms that only export, and from those that only import. We show that two-way traders have a higher propensity to employ non-production workers, exhibit significant wage gaps, but also pay higher wages for both production and non production workers, relative to non internationalized firms and to firms which are involved only in either export or import. The paper also looks at how the wages and the skill structure of the trading firms change with the country of destination and origin and with the firms’ sectoral and geographical diversification.

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File URL: http://www.econ.uniurb.it/RePEc/urb/wpaper/WP_07_13.pdf
File Function: First version, 2007
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Department of Economics, Society & Politics - Scientific Committee - L. Stefanini & G. Travaglini in its series Working Papers with number 0713.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision: 2007
Handle: RePEc:urb:wpaper:07_13
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.uniurb.it/

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  1. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
  2. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Paolo Manasse & Luca Stanca, 2003. "Working on the Train? The Role of Technical Progress and Trade in Explaining Wage Differentials in Italian Firms," Development Working Papers 177, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  4. Katz, Lawrence F & Murphy, Kevin M, 1992. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963-1987: Supply and Demand Factors," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 35-78, February.
  5. Biscourp, Pierre & Kramarz, Francis, 2007. "Employment, skill structure and international trade: Firm-level evidence for France," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 22-51, May.
  6. John Van Reenen & Rupert Harrison & Rachel Griffith, 2006. "How Special Is the Special Relationship? Using the Impact of U.S. R&D Spillovers on U.K. Firms as a Test of Technology Sourcing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1859-1875, December.
  7. Rajneesh Narula & Antonello Zanfei, 2003. "Globalisation of Innovation The Role of Multinational Enterprises," DRUID Working Papers 03-15, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  8. Bradford J Jensen & Andrew B Bernard, 1994. "Exporters, Skill Upgrading And The Wage Gap," Working Papers 94-13, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  9. Mirabelle Mu�ls & Mauro Pisu, 2009. "Imports and Exports at the Level of the Firm: Evidence from Belgium," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(5), pages 692-734, 05.
  10. Laszlo Halpern & Miklos Koren & Adam Szeidl, 2006. "Imports and Productivity," 2006 Meeting Papers 796, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. Bound, John & Johnson, George, 1992. "Changes in the Structure of Wages in the 1980's: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 371-92, June.
  12. Robert Feenstra & Gordon Hanson, 2001. "Global Production Sharing and Rising Inequality: A Survey of Trade and Wages," NBER Working Papers 8372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Maurin, Eric & Thesmar, David & Thoenig, Mathias, 2002. "Globalization and the demand for skill: An Export Based Channel," CEPR Discussion Papers 3406, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. John Bound & George E. Johnson, 1989. "Changes in the Structure of Wages During the 1980's: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations," NBER Working Papers 2983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. Bernhard Heitger & J¸rgen Stehn, 2003. "Trade, Technical Change, and Labour Market Adjustment," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(10), pages 1481-1502, November.
  17. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Alessandra Tucci, 2005. "Trade, Foreign Networks and Performance: a Firm-Level Analysis for India," Development Working Papers 199, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
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