Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Essays on the Effects of International Trade on Labor Markets and Economic Growth
by Trottner, Fabian Guenter Werner, Ph.D., Princeton University, 2020, 231; 28022027
Abstract (Summary)

I study how international trade affects labor market outcomes and economic growth. In the first chapter, I study how international trade affects wage inequality within and between firms. Using matched employer-employee data from Germany, I document that the firm-size wage premium is higher for skilled compared to less-skilled workers and that larger firms disproportionately employ more skilled workers. I show, using a new quantitative framework, that non-homothetic production and monopsonistic competition in labor markets can rationalize these reduced-form findings. To estimate the model, I propose a new econometric method to identify non-homotheticity in the presence of upward-sloping labor supply curves separately. Counterfactual exercises quantitatively show that the mechanism implies sizeable distributional effects of trade.

The second chapter, co-authored with Yann Koby, combines reduced-form evidence with a new model of a dynamic multi-country and multi-sector economy to study the link between trade and structural transformation. The model accounts for major drivers of structural change—including sector-biased technological change and income effects, as well as technological and factor-driven motives for trade. We provide a characterization of the existence and uniqueness of the equilibrium. We quantify the model to the years 1995 to 2011 and then use it to discuss the decline in U.S. manufacturing and the role of service trade in influencing employment in the manufacturing sector.

The third chapter, co-authored with Bastian Krieger, studies the effect of trade in services on firms' innovation activities. We combine unique micro-data from Germany with a simple theory of international trade and innovation to provide causal evidence that trade in innovation services increases innovative activities in firms, accounting for market size and competition effects of trade integration.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Redding, Stephen
Commitee: Grossman, Gene, Oberfield, Ezra
School: Princeton University
Department: Economics
School Location: United States -- New Jersey
Source: DAI-A 82/1(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Economics, Labor economics
Keywords: International trade, Labor markets, Economic growth
Publication Number: 28022027
ISBN: 9798662419629
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