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Trade policy and wage inequality : a structural analysis with occupational and sectoral mobility

  • Artuc, Erhan
  • McLaren, John

A number of authors have argued that a worker's occupation of employment is at least as important as the worker's industry of employment in determining whether the worker will be hurt or helped by international trade. This paper investigates the role of occupational mobility on the effects of trade shocks on wage inequality in a dynamic, structural econometric model of worker adjustment. Each worker in the model can switch either industry, occupation, or both, paying a time-varying cost to do so in a rational-expectations optimizing environment. The authors find that the costs of switching industry and occupation are both high, and of similar magnitude, but in simulations they find that a worker's industry of employment is much more important than either the worker's occupation or skill class in determining whether he or she is harmed by a trade shock.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6194.

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Date of creation: 01 Sep 2012
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6194
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  1. Revenga, Ana L, 1992. "Exporting Jobs? The Impact of Import Competition on Employment and Wages in U.S. Manufacturing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 255-84, February.
  2. Artuc, Erhan & Chaudhuri, Shubham & McLaren, John, 2014. "Some simple analytics of trade and labor mobility," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7089, The World Bank.
  3. Artuc, Erhan, 2012. "Workers'age and the impact of trade shocks," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6035, The World Bank.
  4. Artuç, Erhan & Chaudhuri, Shubham & McLaren, John, 2008. "Delay and dynamics in labor market adjustment: Simulation results," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 1-13, May.
  5. Attanasio, Orazio & Goldberg, Pinelopi & Pavcnik, Nina, 2003. "Trade Reforms and Wage Inequality in Colombia," CEPR Discussion Papers 4023, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. George J. Borjas & Richard B. Freeman, 1992. "Immigration and the Workforce: Economic Consequences for the United States and Source Areas," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number borj92-1, August.
  7. Iourii Manovskii & Gueorgui Kambourov, 2004. "Occupational Specificity of Human Capital," 2004 Meeting Papers 197, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Helpman, Elhanan & Itskhoki, Oleg & Redding, Stephen J., 2009. "Inequality and Unemployment in a Global Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 7353, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Erhan Artuc & Shubham Chaudhuri & John McLaren, 2007. "Trade Shocks and Labor Adjustment: A Structural Empirical Approach," NBER Working Papers 13465, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Brian K. Kovak, 2010. "Regional Labor Market Effects of Trade Policy: Evidence from Brazilian Liberalization," Working Papers 605, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  11. John McLaren & Shushanik Hakobyan, 2010. "Looking for Local Labor Market Effects of NAFTA," NBER Working Papers 16535, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Moritz Ritter, 2012. "Trade and Inequality in a Directed Search Model with Firm and Worker Heterogeneity," DETU Working Papers 1202, Department of Economics, Temple University.
  13. Stephen Cameron & Shubham Chaudhuri & John McLaren, 2007. "Trade Shocks and Labor Adjustment: Theory," NBER Working Papers 13463, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Runjuan Liu & Daniel Trefler, 2011. "A Sorted Tale of Globalization: White Collar Jobs and the Rise of Service Offshoring," NBER Working Papers 17559, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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