Intra-Industry Trade, Endogenous Technological Change, Wage Inequality and Welfare
Kiel Working Paper No. 921
35 Pages Posted: 8 Oct 1999
Date Written: April 1999
By using alternative intra-industry trade models (1. - New goods cannot be introduced into the economy; 2. - The possibility for a set of capital goods available in the economy to vary; the models consider the existence of intersectoral linkages), I show by means of Applied General Equilibrium (AGE) analysis that globalisation (either lower transport costs or lower tariffs) rises wage inequality between skilled and unskilled workers as well as within each group; but the impact on wage inequality is far larger, when countries are assumed to exchange differentiated capital goods. The latter result has been obtained by using an imperfect competitive model, which embodies a sector bias technological change that arises from trade. In addition, the gains from trade, insignificant under the standard trade hypotheses, are extraordinarily large when endogenous technological change is taken into account. The main policy conclusion is that if policy makers of flexible wage economies introduce trade barriers to reduce wage inequality, these protective measures, by affecting the diffusion of technology, would cause a large welfare loss.
JEL Classification: D58, F12, F43, J3, O3
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