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Trade, Labor and Poverty

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Trade, Labor and PovertyThe conventional wisdom regarding trade and labor is that trade reforms and other types of trade shocks produce winners and losers. However, the literature on this topic remains ambiguous, partly because the distributive consequences of trade reforms depend on, among other factors, the initial structure of tariffs, factor endowments, and behind-the-border policies. However, a key issue for understanding how trade (and globalization) affects the distribution of income and poverty is whether the demand for skilled labor relative to unskilled labor changes as a consequence of increased exposure to international competition and technology adoption. Furthermore, in the short-run, trade shocks can bring adjustment costs, especially if complementary factors of production are industry specific. If this is the case, then the effect of trade will vary across workers employed in different industries. Thus, our program examined how trade affects the demand for skilled labor, how exports affect the wages of skilled labor relative to unskilled labor, and on measuring and assessing adjustment costs.


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Working Papers

  • Please see a complete list of Working Papers in the Library at the bottom of the page.

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  • October 2010 - Conference on Labor Markets, the Global Financial Crisis, and Adjustments Costs, sponsored by ILO, OECD and World Bank

Additional Resources


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WPS6357Preferential market access design: evidence and lessons from African apparel exports to the us and the EUde Melo, Jaime; Portugal-Perez, Alberto2013/02
WPS6327Does trade reduce poverty ? a view from AfricaLe Goff, Maelan; Singh, Raju Jan2013/01
WPS6126A global perspective on effectiveness of aid for tradeBerrittella, Maria; Zhang, Jian2012/07
WPS6140Performance of skilled migrants in the U.S. : a dynamic approachMattoo, Aaditya; Neagu, Ileana Cristina; Ozden, Caglar2012/07
WPS6035Workers' age and the impact of trade shocksArtuc, Erhan2012/04

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