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

Listed author(s):
  • 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
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6194
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