DP4963 Product Market Integration, Wages and Inequality

Author(s): Torben M Andersen, Allan Sorensen
Publication Date: March 2005
Keyword(s): comparative advantages, inequality, rent sharing, trade frictions
JEL(s): F15, F16, J39, J50
Programme Areas: Labour Economics
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=4963

International integration strengthening intra-industrial trade may have important implications for employment, wages and inequality. The reason is that product market integration enhances export possibilities through easier access to foreign markets, but also import threats arising from foreign firms entering the domestic market. We explore the implications of these mechanisms in a general equilibrium version of a Ricardian trade model allowing for heterogeneity and imperfect competition in both product and labour markets. International integration is interpreted as a reduction in trade frictions. We find that wage dispersion in general tend to be U-shaped, at first falling and then increasing in product market integration. This finding has important implications not only for the ‘globalization’ debate, but also for empirical analysis.