Policy Article

The Effects of Globalization on Wage Inequality: New Insights from a Dynamic Trade Model with Heterogeneous Firms

Kiel Policy Briefs

Fears of increasing inequality play a dominant role in current debates on how globalization is affecting our economies. After a brief review of recent trends in wage inequality, this policy paper presents new insights on the dynamic effect of trade liberalization on wage inequality. In the context of a dynamic trade model with costly labour mobility), we show that the effect of trade liberalization on wage inequality depends on the time horizon considered, the degree of worker mobility, and the degree of trade liberalization (partial/full). In the short-run, observed increases in wage inequality are driven by an increase in inter-sectoral wage inequality, while in the long run, wage inequality is driven by an increase in the skill premium.

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