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Trade Liberalization and Wage Inequality: New Insights from a Dynamic Trade Model with Heterogeneous Firms and Comparative Advantage

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  • Wolfgang Lechthaler
  • Mariya Mileva

Abstract

We develop a dynamic general equilibrium trade model with comparative advantage, heterogeneous firms, heterogeneous workers and endogenous firm entry to study wage inequality during the adjustment after trade liberalization. We find that trade liberalization increases wage inequality both in the short run and in the long run. In the short run, inter-sectoral wage inequality is high but then recedes. The skill premium does not change much in the short run but increases substantially in the medium and long run. Incorporating worker training in the model considerably reduces the effects of trade liberalization on wage inequality. The effects on wage inequality are much more adverse when trade liberalization is unilateral instead of bilateral or restricted to specific sectors instead of including all sectors.

Suggested Citation

  • Wolfgang Lechthaler & Mariya Mileva, 2015. "Trade Liberalization and Wage Inequality: New Insights from a Dynamic Trade Model with Heterogeneous Firms and Comparative Advantage," FIW Working Paper series 135, FIW.
  • Handle: RePEc:wsr:wpaper:y:2015:i:135
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    Cited by:

    1. Karl Aiginger, 2016. "New Dynamics for Europe: Reaping the Benefits of Socio-ecological Transition Part I: Synthesis. WWWforEurope Deliverable No. 11," WIFO Studies, WIFO, number 58791, December.
    2. Wolfgang Lechthaler & Mariya Mileva, 2021. "The Dynamic And Distributional Aspects Of Import Tariffs," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 62(1), pages 199-241, February.
    3. Wolfgang Lechthaler & Mariya Mileva, 2021. "Smoothing the adjustment to trade liberalization," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 48(4), pages 903-946, November.
    4. Lechthaler, Wolfgang & Mileva, Mariya, 2016. "Inter-industry trade and business cycle dynamics," Kiel Working Papers 2041, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    5. Wolfgang Lechthaler & Mariya Mileva, 2014. "Smoothing the Adjustment to Trade Liberalisation. WWWforEurope Working Paper No. 61," WIFO Studies, WIFO, number 47248, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    trade libaralization; wage inequality; adjustment dynamics;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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