Economics at your fingertips  

Trade, technology, and prosperity: An account of evidence from a labor-market perspective

Marc-Andreas Muendler ()

No ERSD-2017-15, WTO Staff Working Papers from World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division

Abstract: Trade and technological change continually alter the workplace and labor-market outcomes, with consequences for economy-wide welfare and the distribution of real incomes. This report assesses the state of economic research into those areas, with a particular focus on empirical methodologies and their adequacy for an assessment of general-equilibrium outcomes. While difference-in-differences techniques and instrumental- variable approaches provide answers, they exhibit shortcomings that limit conclusiveness. Recent advances in structural estimation of multi-country and multisector models that allow for reallocation frictions in domestic labor markets hold promise to deliver more definite empirical answers. Interestingly, a conclusion from a two-decades old strand of literature seems to be vindicated by conclusions from a related recent literature: roughly one-quarter of changes in labor-market outcomes (wage inequality then and manufacturing job losses now) was predicted by trade integration and roughly one-third by technological change. The remainder of changes in labor-market outcomes remains unaccounted. The report offers candidate explanations, rooted in recent evidence, how interactions between globalization, technological progress, and structural change may account for that remainder.

Keywords: trade; current account balance; automation; choice of technology; industrial structure and structural change; labor-market outcomes; employment; jobs; wages; inequality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F16 F32 J23 J24 L16 O14 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-int
Date: 2017
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (11) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in WTO Staff Working Papers from World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics ().

Page updated 2019-08-20
Handle: RePEc:zbw:wtowps:ersd201715