Who Trades with Whom? Exploring the Links between Firms' International Activities, Skills, and Wages

21 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2010

See all articles by Francesco Serti

Francesco Serti

Universidad de Alicante

Chiara Tomasi

Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna di Pisa; Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna di Pisa - Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM)

Antonello Zanfei

Universita di Urbino

Abstract

Using firm-level data on the Italian manufacturing industry, we examine how trade activities are related to workforce composition and wages. We contribute to empirical research on these issues in three ways. First, we provide new evidence that is consistent with multi-attribute models on firm heterogeneity and trade. We show that even after controlling for various company characteristics, including size and capital intensity, exporters still pay higher wages and employ more skilled workers than nonexporters. Second, we consider engagement in international transactions, either by means of exports, imports, or a combination of the two. We show that failing to control for importing activities may bias upward export premia. Third, we look at how the wage and the employment structures of trading firms change with the country of destination and origin of trade flows. We find that wage and skill premia are influenced by the characteristics of partner countries.

Suggested Citation

Serti, Francesco and Tomasi, Chiara and Tomasi, Chiara and Zanfei, Antonello, Who Trades with Whom? Exploring the Links between Firms' International Activities, Skills, and Wages. Review of International Economics, Vol. 18, No. 5, pp. 951-971, November 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1699946 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9396.2010.00919.x

Francesco Serti (Contact Author)

Universidad de Alicante ( email )

Campus de San Vicente
Carretera San Vicente del Raspeig
San Vicente del Raspeig, Alicante 03690
Spain

Chiara Tomasi

Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna di Pisa ( email )

Biblioteca Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna

Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna di Pisa - Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM) ( email )

Piazza Martiri della Liberta, 33
Pisa, I-56127
Italy

Antonello Zanfei

Universita di Urbino ( email )

Via Saffi 2
Urbino, Pesaro-Urbino 61029
Italy

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