Estimating the Gains from Trade in Frictional Local Labor Markets

Pupato, Germàn; Sand, Ben; Tschopp, Jeanne (August 2019). Estimating the Gains from Trade in Frictional Local Labor Markets (Discussion Papers 19-09). Bern: Department of Economics

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We develop a theory and an empirical strategy to estimate the welfare gains of economic integration in economies with frictional local labor markets. The model yields a welfare formula that nests previous results in the literature and features an additional adjustment margin, via the employment rate, that generates new insights. We show that the quantitative impact of this new channel depends on the goods market structure and on the degree of firm heterogeneity. To obtain causal estimates of the two key structural parameters needed for the welfare analysis, the trade elasticity and the elasticity of substitution in consumption, we propose a theoretically-consistent identification strategy that exploits exogenous variation in production costs driven by differences in industrial composition across local labor markets. As an application, we exploit Germany’s rapid trade integration with China and Eastern Europe between 1988 and 2008 to assess the quantitative importance of accounting for unemployment
changes when computing the gains from trade across local labor markets in West Germany. Under monopolistic competition with free entry and firm heterogeneity, the median welfare gains in the frictional setting are 6% larger relative to the frictionless setting. The relative welfare gains are typically more modest under alternative market structures.

Item Type:

Working Paper

Division/Institute:

03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Economics
03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Economics > Institute of Economics > Public Economics

UniBE Contributor:

Tschopp, Jeanne

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics

Series:

Discussion Papers

Publisher:

Department of Economics

Language:

English

Submitter:

Dino Collalti

Date Deposited:

14 Apr 2020 16:36

Last Modified:

14 Apr 2020 16:36

JEL Classification:

F12, F16, J31, J60

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.138634

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/138634

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