TBTs, Firm Organization and Labour Structure - The Effect of Technical Barriers to Trade on Skills

28 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2020

See all articles by Giorgio Barba Navaretti

Giorgio Barba Navaretti

University of Milan - Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods (DEMM); University of Milan - Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA)

Lionel Fontagne

University of Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne; Paris School of Economics; CEPII

Gianluca Orefice

World Trade Organization (WTO)

Giovanni Pica

Idep, facoltà di economia; University of Milan - Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods (DEMM); University of Milan - Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA); University of Naples Federico II - CSEF - Center for Studies in Economics and Finance

Anna Rosso

University of Milan

Date Written: 2019

Abstract

Trade shocks in export markets may affect the employment composition and the organization of exporting firms. In particular, the imposition of new technological standards in destination markets may force exporters to adjust the firm's organization to comply and cope with the additional complexity of the new production process. This paper investigates the effects on firms' organization of shocks induced by the introduction of Technical Barriers to Trade (TBTs) in exporting countries. It relies on the Specific Trade Concern (STC) data released by the WTO to identify trade-restrictive TBT measures, combined with matched employer-employee data for the population of French exporters over the period 1995-2010. It also exploits information on the list of product-destinations served by each French exporter. Controlling for tariffs and for a given state of technology in the sector of the firm, it finds that exporters respond to increased complexity associated with restrictive Technical Barriers to Trade at destination by raising the share of managers at the expense of blue collars, white collars and professionals. This paper is related to the growing literature exploring how firms organize production in hierarchies to economize on their use of knowledge. It is also related to the well beaten literature on the labour market effects of trade, but from the perspective of exports rather than imports.

Keywords: skill composition, labor demand, job polarization, trade barriers

JEL Classification: F130, F160, J820

Suggested Citation

Barba Navaretti, Giorgio and Fontagne, Lionel and Fontagne, Lionel and Orefice, Gianluca and Pica, Giovanni and Rosso, Anna, TBTs, Firm Organization and Labour Structure - The Effect of Technical Barriers to Trade on Skills (2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3474199 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3474199

Giorgio Barba Navaretti (Contact Author)

University of Milan - Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods (DEMM) ( email )

Via Conservatorio, 7
Milan, 20122
Italy
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University of Milan - Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA) ( email )

Via Donizzatti 38
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+39 02 36683850 (Phone)

Lionel Fontagne

University of Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne ( email )

Maison des Sciences Economiques
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Paris, 75013
France
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+33 1 53 68 55 01 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://lionelfontagne.weebly.com/

Paris School of Economics ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://lionelfontagne.weebly.com/

CEPII ( email )

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+33 1 53 68 55 06 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://lionelfontagne.weebly.com/

Gianluca Orefice

World Trade Organization (WTO) ( email )

Rue de Lausanne 154
Geneva 21, CH-1211
Switzerland

Giovanni Pica

Idep, facoltà di economia ( email )

Via Giuseppe Buffi 13
Lugano, TN Ticino 6900
Switzerland
+41586664784 (Phone)

University of Milan - Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods (DEMM) ( email )

Via Conservatorio, 7
Milan, 20122
Italy

University of Milan - Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA) ( email )

Via P. Amedeo 34
Milano, Mi 20122
Italy

University of Naples Federico II - CSEF - Center for Studies in Economics and Finance ( email )

Via Cintia
Complesso Monte S. Angelo
Naples, Naples 80126
Italy

Anna Rosso

University of Milan ( email )

Via Conservatorio 7
Milano, 20122
Italy

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