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Patterns of International Fragmentation of Production and Implications for the Labor Markets

  • Rodolfo Helg

    (Cattaneo University - LIUC)

  • Lucia Tajoli

    (Politecnico di Milano)

Growing shares of international trade flows consist of intermediate and unfinished goods shipped from one country to another to combine manufacturing or services activities at home with those performed abroad. This configuration of the productive structure has been named “internationally fragmented”. The purpose of our work is to analyze the labor market effects of international fragmentation of production in Europe, looking at how it affects relative labor demand. Models of trade due to fragmentation of production suggest that when international fragmentation takes place we can expect to observe a change in the relative factor intensities of the affected industries. We use international trade data specifically related to international fragmentation of production to test if the shift in intensity of skilled and unskilled labor employed in Italy and Germany during the 1990s it related to the fragmentation activity.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series International Trade with number 0405002.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 05 May 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpit:0405002
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 33
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

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  1. Hijzen, Alexander & Görg, Holger & Hine, Robert C., 2003. "International Fragmentation and Relative Wages in the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 717, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Haskel, Jonathan E. & Slaughter, Matthew J., 2002. "Does the sector bias of skill-biased technical change explain changing skill premia?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(10), pages 1757-1783, December.
  3. Antràs, Pol & Helpman, Elhanan, 2004. "Global Sourcing," CEPR Discussion Papers 4170, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Deardorff, Alan V., 2005. "Ricardian comparative advantage with intermediate inputs," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 11-34, March.
  5. Carolyn Evans & James Harrigan, 2003. "Distance, time, and specialization," International Finance Discussion Papers 766, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Robert Feenstra & Gordon Hanson, 2001. "Global Production Sharing and Rising Inequality: A Survey of Trade and Wages," NBER Working Papers 8372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Bob Anderton & Paul Brenton, 1998. "Outsourcing and Low-Skilled Workers in the UK," CSGR Working papers series 12/98, Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation (CSGR), University of Warwick.
  8. David Hummels & Jun Ishii & Kei-Mu Yi, 1999. "The nature and growth of vertical specialization in world trade," Staff Reports 72, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  9. Salvatore Baldone & Fabio Sdogati & Lucia Tajoli, 2002. "Moving to Central-Eastern Europe: Fragmentation of Production and Competitiveness of the European Textile and Apparel Industry," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 92(1), pages 209-282, January-F.
  10. Deardorff, A.V., 1998. "Fragmentation in Simple Trade Models," Papers 98-11, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  11. Robert C. Feenstra, 1998. "Integration of Trade and Disintegration of Production in the Global Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 31-50, Fall.
  12. Hanson, Gordon H, 1996. "Localization Economies, Vertical Organization, and Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1266-78, December.
  13. Salvatore Baldone & Fabio Sdogati & Lucia Tajoli, 2001. "Patterns and determinants of international fragmentation of production: Evidence from outward processing trade between the EU and Central Eastern European countries," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 137(1), pages 80-104, March.
  14. Robert Anderton & Paul Brenton & Eva Oscarsson, 2002. "What’s trade got to do with it? Relative demand for skills within Swedish manufacturing," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 138(4), pages 629-651, December.
  15. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1996. "Globalization, Outsourcing, and Wage Inequality," NBER Working Papers 5424, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Deardorff, A.V., 1998. "Fragmentation Across Cones," Papers 98-14, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  17. Berman, Eli & Bound, John & Griliches, Zvi, 1994. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U.S. Manufacturing: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufactures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 367-97, May.
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