Have Falling Tariffs and Transportation Costs Raised Us Wage Inequality?

21 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2003

See all articles by Jonathan Haskel

Jonathan Haskel

Imperial College Business School; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Matthew J. Slaughter

Dartmouth College - Tuck School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Abstract

To gauge the effect of international trade on the rising US skill premium, the paper analyzes the sector bias of price changes induced by changes in US tariffs and transportation costs. It is found that, in both the 1970s and 1980s, cuts in tariffs and transportation cost levels were concentrated in unskilled-intensive sectors. Despite this suggestive evidence, the authors estimate that price changes induced by tariffs or transportation costs mandated a rise in inequality that was mostly statistically insignificant. Thus, they do not find strong evidence that falling tariffs and transport costs, working through price changes, mandated rises in inequality.

Suggested Citation

Haskel, Jonathan and Slaughter, Matthew J., Have Falling Tariffs and Transportation Costs Raised Us Wage Inequality?. Review of International Economics, Vol. 11, pp. 630-650, September 2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=450972

Jonathan Haskel (Contact Author)

Imperial College Business School ( email )

South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London SW7 2AZ, SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom
020 7594 8563 (Phone)
020 7594 5915 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Matthew J. Slaughter

Dartmouth College - Tuck School of Business ( email )

Hanover, NH 03755
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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