Labour-Market Effects of Intra-Industry Trade: Evidence for the United Kingdom

According to the “smooth adjustment hypothesis”, the labour-market adjustment costs entailed by trade liberalisation are lower if trade expansion is intra-industry rather than interindustry in nature. In this paper, we study the link between trade and labour market changes in UK manufacturing industries during the 1980s. We use industry-level measures of unemployment duration and wage variability as proxies for adjustment costs, and we relate them to various measures of intra-industry trade. Our evidence offers some support for the smooth adjustment hypothesis.

with Robert Elliott, Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv / Review of World Economics, 138(2): 207-228, 2002. See publication