ساخت حس ضربه Bolkestein: آزاد سازی تجارت زیر نظر بخش بندی بازار کار
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|13198||2007||23 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of International Economics, Volume 73, Issue 1, September 2007, Pages 152–174
An increase in the range of tradable goods is analyzed in a two-country Dornbusch–Fischer–Samuelson style model, where labor cannot relocate to another sector upon a non-expected increase in the range of goods that can be traded. The effect of liberalization on the terms of trade tend to favor the poorer country (the “East”), if (as assumed) the most sophisticated goods are tradable before reform. Second, under ex-post liberalization, there exists a class of workers in the West who are harmed because they face competition from Eastern workers and cannot relocate to other activities. But if the East's economy is relatively small, their wage losses are not very large. Things are different, however, if there exist asymmetries in labor market institutions, such that upon reform, labor can relocate in the East but not in the West. Some workers in the West can then experience very large wage losses. Thus, rigid labor markets in the West magnify opposition to reform there.
Trade liberalization is often met with sharp opposition. Recent examples include concern about a sharp increase in textile imports from China into the European Union (following the phasing out of the multi-fiber agreement (MFA)), as well as complaints in France and other EU countries against the so-called “Bolkestein” directive, which allows service providers from a given EU member to temporarily work in another member country, under the regulatory regime prevailing in the source country. Thus, a Polish plumber or hairdresser could freely offer his services in France, while not being bound by French labor law and other local regulations, provided his stay is short enough. One way to view such a reform is that it simply widens the range of goods that are tradable: haircuts and plumbing services can now be purchased “in Poland”, with the twist that the worker performing the service has to be moved to France, and then back to Poland, which is a particular form of transportation cost. While part of the complaints have to do with the fact that French labor laws impose a tax on labor which is higher than in Poland, the bottomline is that Polish wages are a third of French wages (they would thus remain much lower even with similar labor market regulations), so that French plumbers and hairdressers simply feel they are going to disappear. Similar concerns are voiced about textile jobs disappearing because of Chinese imports, or offshoring to India of services such as call centers or consumer banking. Economists usually interpret resistance to such reforms through the lens of the Stolper–Samuelson theorem. It says that the return to the relatively scarce factor is bound to fall when an economy opens to trade, so that if compensatory transfers are not feasible, some social groups would oppose liberalization. The problem with this view is that one then has to conceive of French hair-dressers as part of a larger group, the “unskilled”, who, if scarce relative to the East, suffer of any trade intensive in unskilled labor. Thus, there is no reason why French hairdressers should complain more about Polish hairdressers than about, say, Polish textiles, or indeed about competitions from the millions of unskilled unemployed in the French labor market. Furthermore, if there are only a few skill categories, then trade in just that number of goods is enough to bring about factor price equalization. Further increases in the range of tradable goods should not have any additional harmful effects on the scarce factor, while it can bring beneficial effects if there are increasing returns to scale.1 One way to solve this paradox is to think about resistance to reform in terms of a segmented labor market where moving between occupations is costly. If labor markets were perfect, any adverse effect of liberalization in haircuts would be diluted in the form of a lower unskilled wage in the economy, and would not be particularly concentrated on hairdressers. However, if labor markets are segmented, in that moving to an occupation is difficult (at least in the short run), then each occupation becomes a different kind of labor input, and it is conceivable that liberalizing trade in haircuts would have large adverse effects on French hairdressers, who are prevented from relocating to other occupations. These, in turn, are sheltered from the downward pressure on unskilled wages exerted by the reform. Thus, labor rigidities concentrate losses upon the occupations that are liberalized. One may add that regulatory entry barriers play an important role in generating labor market segmentation. These barriers are well documented. For the French case, for example, a number of them are reported by Cahuc and Kramarz (2004). For example, a lot of professions (hairdressers, butchers, veterinarians…) cannot be entered without a specific degree, which often involves academic skills not needed to perform the task. Clearly, such requirements make it very difficult to enter these professions at a late date in one's life cycle. Other types of barriers to professional mobility include entry quotas and exclusive territories that are prevalent for taxis and pharmacies. If such barriers did not exist, the professions that are threatened by the Bolkestein directive would have already suffered much more from competition from the unemployed. In a country such as the UK, these barriers are much lower, and, accordingly, opposition to the directive is much smaller: because of labor mobility, existing trade in commodities already largely determines factor prices, and one might not expect much action on the inequality front when further liberalization takes place. This paper analyzes the distributional effects of trade reforms when labor markets are segmented. It uses a Ricardian model in the fashion of Dornbusch–Fischer–Samuelson (1977, hereafter DFS). There are two countries, East and West, and the key assumptions being made are: – Goods can be ranked by level of sophistication; the relative productivity of the East is lower in more sophisticated products. Thus the West has a comparative advantage in these products. – Goods below a certain level of sophistication are non-traded; this captures the fact that greater sophistication is associated with industrial products, while lower sophistication is associated with services. – Trade reform consists in broadening the range of goods that are tradable. This stands in contrast to most of the literature, which typically considers a uniform reduction in tariff levels.2 It is meant to capture reforms like the disputed service directive mentioned above, which increases the range of tradable goods.3 – Trade reform will therefore reduce the critical sophistication level which separates tradables from non-tradables. Thus, the new tradables are less sophisticated than the existing ones; at the margin, they should be produced by the East. – Workers have to choose which sector to work in before trade liberalization takes place. Therefore, if haircuts are made tradable, French hairdressers cannot move to another sector. They have to continue producing haircuts. In equilibrium, the international price of haircuts and their wage have to fall so as to maintain full employment in that sector. Because of imperfect labor mobility, one has to distinguish between two types of reforms: an ex-ante liberalization is announced prior to the individual's occupational choice. An ex-post liberalization takes place after this choice, which therefore has taken place on the basis of a less liberal expected trade regimes. These assumptions allow us to derive a number of interesting results regarding the effects of trade reform. We first find that the effects of liberalization on the terms of trade tend to favor the East. Second, under ex-post liberalization, there indeed exists a class of workers in the West who are harmed because they face competition from Eastern workers and cannot relocate to other activities. But we argue that if the East's economy is relatively small, their wage losses are not very large. Things are different, however, if there exist asymmetries in labor market institutions, such that upon reform, labor can relocate in the East but not in the West. Some workers in the West can then experience very large wage losses, more or less equal to the average wage gap between the two countries. Furthermore, the country as a whole may have net losses, which is implausible under ex-ante liberalization and, as I show, impossible under ex-post liberalization when labor is immobile in both countries. In such a case producers of non-traded goods lose as well. Thus, rigid labor markets in the West magnify opposition to reform there, and the worst case for the West is when the East is not rigid.4 The model is also used to derive interesting predictions about the distribution of gains and losses in the East.