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Trade, Wages, and Superstars

Paolo Manasse and Alessandro Turrini

No 2262, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: We study the effect of 'globalization' on wage inequality. Our 'global' economy resembles Rosen's (1981) 'Superstars' economy, where a) innovations in production and communication technologies enable suppliers to reach a larger mass of consumers and to improve the (perceived) quality of their products and b) trade barriers fall. When transport costs fall, income is redistributed away from the non-exporting to the exporting sector of the economy. As the former turns out to employ workers of higher skill and pay, the effect is to raise wage inequality. Whether the least skilled stand to lose or gain from improved production or communication technologies, in contrast, depends on whether technology is skill-complementary, or a substitute. The model gives an intuitive explanation for the empirical regularities that skill intensity, market size and wages tend to be positively associated with exporting activity across sectors and plants.

Keywords: International Trade; Technological Change; Wage Inequality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F12 F16 J31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1999-10
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (9)

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Related works:
Journal Article: Trade, wages, and 'superstars' (2001) Downloads
Working Paper: Trade, Wages and Superstars (1999) Downloads
Working Paper: Trade, Wages and "Superstars" Downloads
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