Searching for the smoking gun: Did trade hurt unskilled workers?
We contribute to the trade-wage literature by conducting the first economy-wide analysis of the association between trade and wages in New Zealand. We find that increased imports since 1980 caused only a marginal increase in New Zealand wage inequality and, overall, increased trade (imports and exports) reduced wage inequality in this nation. As New Zealand imports of unskilled labour-intensive products relative to GDP are larger than those for other developed nations, we interpret these results as convincing evidence that trade is not responsible for rising wage inequality in developed nations.
Publisher: University of Otago
Series number: 605
Keywords: trade and wages; skill classification
Research Type: Discussion Paper