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Recent perspectives on trade and inequality

  • Harrison, Ann
  • McLaren, John
  • McMillan, Margaret

The 1990's dealt a blow to traditional Heckscher-Ohlin analysis of the relationship between trade and income inequality, as it became clear that rising inequality in low-income countries and other features of the data were inconsistent with that model. As a result, economists moved away from trade as a plausible explanation for rising income inequality. In recent years, however, a number of new mechanisms have been explored through which trade can affect(and usually increase) income inequality. These include within-industry effects due to heterogeneous?firms; effects of offshoring of tasks; effects on incomplete contracting; and effects of labor-market frictions. A number these mechanisms have received substantial empirical support.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5754.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2011
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5754
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  1. Kiminori Matsuyama, 2007. "Beyond Icebergs: Towards a Theory of Biased Globalization," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 237-253.
  2. James E. Anderson, 2008. "Globalization and Income Distribution: A Specific Factors Continuum Approach," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 699, Boston College Department of Economics.
  3. Davidson, Carl & Martin, Lawrence & Matusz, Steven, 1999. "Trade and search generated unemployment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 271-299, August.
  4. Paula Bustos, 2009. "Trade liberalization, exports and technology upgrading: Evidence on the impact of MERCOSUR on Argentinean firms," Economics Working Papers 1173, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  5. Stephen Cameron & Shubham Chaudhuri & John McLaren, 2007. "Trade Shocks and Labor Adjustment: Theory," NBER Working Papers 13463, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Davis, Donald R. & Harrigan, James, 2011. "Good jobs, bad jobs, and trade liberalization," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 26-36, May.
  7. J. Bradford Jensen & Andrew Bernard & Peter Schott, 2005. "Survival of the Best Fit: Exposure to Low-Wage Countries and the (Uneven) Growth of U.S. Manufacturing Plants," Working Papers 05-19, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  8. Paula Bustos, 2011. "The Impact of Trade Liberalization on Skill Upgrading Evidence from Argentina," Working Papers 559, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  9. Bilgehan Karabay & John McLaren, 2009. "Trade, Offshoring, and the Invisible Handshake," NBER Working Papers 15048, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Elhanan Helpman & Oleg Itskhoki & Stephen Redding, 2010. "Inequality and Unemployment in a Global Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(4), pages 1239-1283, 07.
  11. Hartmut Egger & Udo Kreickemeier, 2009. "Firm Heterogeneity And The Labor Market Effects Of Trade Liberalization," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(1), pages 187-216, 02.
  12. Ravallion, Martin, 2003. "The debate on globalization, poverty, and inequality : why measurement matters," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3038, The World Bank.
  13. Pravin Krishna & Mine Zeynep Senses, 2009. "International Trade and Labor Income Risk in the United States," NBER Working Papers 14992, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Matusz, Steven J, 1986. "Implicit Contracts, Unemployment and International Trade," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(382), pages 307-22, June.
  15. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2002. "The Disturbing "Rise" of Global Income Inequality," NBER Working Papers 8904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Runjuan Liu & Daniel Trefler, 2008. "Much Ado About Nothing: American Jobs and the Rise of Service Outsourcing to China and India," NBER Working Papers 14061, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Matusz, Steven J, 1985. "The Heckscher-Ohlin-Samuelson Model with Implicit Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1313-29, November.
  18. Eric A. Verhoogen, 2008. "Trade, Quality Upgrading, and Wage Inequality in the Mexican Manufacturing Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(2), pages 489-530, 05.
  19. Naércio Aquino Menezes Filho & Marc-Andreas Muendler, 2007. "Labor Reallocation in Response to Trade Reform," CESifo Working Paper Series 1936, CESifo Group Munich.
  20. Arnaud Costinot & Jonathan Vogel, 2010. "Matching and Inequality in the World Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(4), pages 747-786, 08.
  21. Ann Harrison & Margaret McMillan, 2009. "Offshoring Jobs? Multinationals and US Manufacturing Employment," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0741, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  22. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1995. "Foreign Direct Investment and Relative Wages: Evidence from Mexico's Maquiladoras," NBER Working Papers 5122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Gordon H. Hanson & Ann Harrison, 1999. "Trade Liberalization and Wage Inequality in Mexico," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(2), pages 271-288, January.
  24. Emily Blanchard & Gerald Willmann, 2013. "Trade, Education, and the Shrinking Middle Class," CESifo Working Paper Series 4141, CESifo Group Munich.
  25. Robert C. Feenstra & Gene M. Grossman & Douglas A. Irwin (ed.), 1996. "The Political Economy of Trade Policy: Papers in Honor of Jagdish Bhagwati," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061864, June.
  26. Erhan Artuç & Shubham Chaudhuri & John McLaren, 2007. "Delay and Dynamics in Labor Market Adjustment: Simulation Results," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 0703, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
  27. Mathias Thoenig & Thierry Verdier, 2003. "A Theory of Defensive Skill-Biased Innovation and Globalization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 709-728, June.
  28. Irene Brambilla & Daniel Lederman & Guido Porto, 2010. "Exports, Export Destinations, and Skills," NBER Working Papers 15995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Mitra, Devashish & Ranjan, Priya, 2007. "Offshoring and Unemployment," IZA Discussion Papers 2805, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  30. Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-50, September.
  31. Ann Harrison & Margaret McMillan, 2007. "On the links between globalization and poverty," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 123-134, April.
  32. Avraham Ebenstein & Ann Harrison & Margaret McMillan & Shannon Phillips, 2009. "Estimating the Impact of Trade and Offshoring on American Workers Using the Current Population Surveys," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0742, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  33. Zhu, Susan Chun & Trefler, Daniel, 2005. "Trade and inequality in developing countries: a general equilibrium analysis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 21-48, January.
  34. Mary Amiti & Donald R. Davis, 2008. "Trade, Firms, and Wages: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 14106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. Dinopoulos, Elias & Segerstrom, Paul, 1996. "A Schumpeterian Model of Protection and Relative Wages," Working Paper Series 471, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  36. Shubham Chaudhuri & John McLaren, 2007. "Some Simple Analytics of Trade and Labor Mobility," NBER Working Papers 13464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  37. Ronald W. Jones, 1965. "The Structure of Simple General Equilibrium Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73, pages 557.
  38. Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Nina Pavcnik, 2004. "Trade, Inequality, and Poverty: What Do We Know? Evidence from Recent Trade Liberalization Episodes in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 10593, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  39. Marianne Bertrand, 1999. "From the Invisible Handshake to the Invisible Hand? How Import Competition Changes the Employment Relationship," NBER Working Papers 6900, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  40. J. Peter Neary, 2003. "Presidential Address: Globalization and Market Structure," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 245-271, 04/05.
  41. Gene M. Grossman & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2006. "Trading Tasks: A Simple Theory of Offshoring," NBER Working Papers 12721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  42. Paul R. Krugman, 2008. "Trade and Wages, Reconsidered," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(1 (Spring), pages 103-154.
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