OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

English, French

Market Structure, International Trade and Relative Wages

This paper investigates the link between trade flows and relative wages on a cross-section of 22 sectors in 12 OECD countries. Industries are classified according to stylised facts about market structure (fragmentation, segmentation and degree of product differentiation). Next, the import penetration trends during the period 1970-90 are analysed, with special attention paid to the imports from Asian NICs. Finally, panel data estimates of a relative wage equation, encompassing both the characterisation of industries by type of market structure, as well as import penetration and export-intensity variables, are carried out. The results show that the impact of import penetration on relative wages tends to be negative in industries with low product differentiation, whereas the reverse result occurs in industries with high product differentiation and market segmentation ...


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