A mapping of labor mobility costs in developing countries
Estimates of labor mobility costs are needed to assess the responses of employment and wages to trade shocks when factor adjustment is costly. Available methods to estimate those costs rely on panel data, which are seldom available in developing countries. The authors propose a method to estimate mobility costs using readily obtainable data worldwide. The estimator matches the changes in observed sectoral employment allocations with the predicted allocations from a model of costly labor adjustment. This paper estimates a world map of labor mobility costs and uses those estimates to explore the response of labor markets to trade policy.
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