IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Segmentation by skills and wage discrimination in a trans-border labor market


  • Gonzalez, Oscar


  • Maggi, Rico



Global markets, free mobility and political integration among nation states should have a relevant impact on key issues in regional labor market studies, such as immigration, segmentation and delimitation. This paper presents an economic analysis of the impacts on segmentation, salary and human capital of the tight Swiss regulation imposed in past on immigrant workers. The case studied is the canton Ticino, a labor market whose gravity center is located at 20 km form the Italian border and 50 km from the center of the agglomeration of Milan. This very specific location allows to study the differentiated impacts on salaries, contract duration and allocation to industries of trans-border commuters as compared to short and long term immigrants. First evidence indicates the presence of a relevant immigration surplus (Borjas 1995) for the Ticino economy in the case of commuters and seasonal immigrants on the lower scale of qualification. Concerning more qualified labor force, empirical analysis of wage functions indicate a segmentation with respect to duration of contracts, more stable contracts being offered to resident workers. Here, the benefits are reaped by the protected labor force while industry does not seem to realize a significant surplus. The paper end with a theoretical discussion of the possible changes provoked by the imminent change in regulation implied by bilateral treaties on free mobility with the EU entering in vigor this year and draws some conclusions on the future relevance of the concept of border regions in a labor market context.

Suggested Citation

  • Gonzalez, Oscar & Maggi, Rico, 2002. "Segmentation by skills and wage discrimination in a trans-border labor market," ERSA conference papers ersa02p445, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa02p445

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dickens, William T & Lang, Kevin, 1985. "A Test of Dual Labor Market Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 792-805, September.
    2. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    3. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
    4. Rosen, Sherwin, 1987. "The theory of equalizing differences," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 641-692 Elsevier.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Siegfried Alberton & Oscar Gonzalez, 2004. "Monitoring a trans-border labour market in view of liberalization - the case of Ticino," ERSA conference papers ersa04p526, European Regional Science Association.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa02p445. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Gunther Maier). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.