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Multinational companies and wage inequality in the host country: the case of Ireland

  • Figini, Paolo
  • Görg, Holger

In this paper, we analyse the effects of multinational companies on wage inequality in the host country, studying the case of the Irish economy. Based on a model developed by Aghion and Howitt (1998), in which the introduction of new technologies leads to increasing demand for skilled labour and, therefore, to rising inequality, we conduct an econometric study using data for the Irish manufacturing sector between 1979 and 1995. We examine inequality between wages for skilled and unskilled labour within the same manufacturing sector. Our results indicate that there is an inverted-U relationship between wage inequality and the presence of multinationals, i.e., with increasing presence of multinationals, wage inequality first increases, reaches a maximum and decreases eventually, ceteris paribus.

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Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) in its series Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy with number 2344.

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Date of creation: 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwkie:2344
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  1. Figini, Paolo & Görg, Holger, 1999. "Multinational companies and wage inequality in the host country: the case of Ireland," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 2344, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  2. Gerry Boyle; & Pauline McCormack, 1998. "Trade and Technological Explanations for Changes in Sectoral Labour Demand in OECD Economies," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n770598, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
  3. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1995. "Foreign Direct Investment and Relative Wages: Evidence from Mexico's Maquiladoras," NBER Working Papers 5122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. J. David Richardson, 1995. "Income Inequality and Trade: How to Think, What to Conclude," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 33-55, Summer.
  5. Borjas, G.J. & Freeman, R.B. & Katz, L.F., 1991. "On The Labor Market Effects Of Immigration And Trade," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1556, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  7. Markusen, James R. & Venables, Anthony, 1996. "The role of multinational firms in the wage-gap debate," Discussion Papers, Series II 322, University of Konstanz, Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 178 "Internationalization of the Economy".
  8. Wood, Adrian, 1995. "North-South Trade, Employment and Inequality: Changing Fortunes in a Skill-Driven World," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198290155, July.
  9. Hausman, Jerry A, 1978. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1251-71, November.
  10. Machin, Steve & Van Reenen, John, 1996. "Technology and Changes in Skill Structure: Evidence from an International Panel of Industries," CEPR Discussion Papers 1434, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Hakura, D. & Deardorff, A.V., 1993. "Trade and Wages: What Are the Questions?," Working Papers 341, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  12. Haskel, Jonathan & Slaughter, Matthew J, 2001. "Trade, Technology and U.K. Wage Inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(468), pages 163-87, January.
  13. Wang, Jian-Ye & Blomstrom, Magnus, 1992. "Foreign investment and technology transfer : A simple model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 137-155, January.
  14. Barry, F & Bradley, J, 1997. ""FDI and Trade : The Irish Host-Country Experience"," Papers 97/13, College Dublin, Department of Political Economy-.
  15. Das, Sanghamitra, 1987. "Externalities, and technology transfer through multinational corporations A theoretical analysis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-2), pages 171-182, February.
  16. repec:sae:niesru:v:166:y::i:1:p:78-86 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Atkinson, A B, 1997. "Bringing Income Distribution in from the Cold," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(441), pages 297-321, March.
  18. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Howard J. Shatz, 1994. "Trade and Jobs in Manufacturing," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(1), pages 1-84.
  19. Gary Burtless, 1995. "International Trade and the Rise in Earnings Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(2), pages 800-816, June.
  20. George E. Johnson, 1997. "Changes in Earnings Inequality: The Role of Demand Shifts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 41-54, Spring.
  21. Breusch, T S & Pagan, A R, 1980. "The Lagrange Multiplier Test and Its Applications to Model Specification in Econometrics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 239-53, January.
  22. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:92:y:1978:i:1:p:1-16 is not listed on IDEAS
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