Labor Market Power and the Distorting Effects of International Trade
International Journal of Industrial Organization,
This article examines how final product trade with China shapes and interacts with labor market imperfections that create market power in labor markets and prevent an efficient market outcome. I develop a framework for measuring such labor market power distortions in monetary terms and document large degrees of these distortions in Germany's manufacturing sector. Import competition only exerts labor market disciplining effects if firms, rather than employees, possess labor market power. Otherwise, increasing export demand and import competition both fortify existing distortions, which decreases labor market efficiency. This widens the gap between potential and realized output and thus diminishes classical gains from trade.
12.12.2019 • 24/2019
Konjunktur aktuell: Weltkonjunktur wieder etwas kräftiger – aber Deutschland zunächst weiter im Abschwung
Die Weltwirtschaft zieht wieder etwas an, weil der Gegenwind von den Handelskonflikten nachlässt. „In Deutschland erholt sich die Industrie aber nur langsam. Das deutsche Bruttoinlandsprodukt wird im Jahr 2020 wohl um 1,1% zunehmen. Ohne die besonders hohe Zahl an Arbeitstagen wäre die Zunahme noch geringer,“ sagt Oliver Holtemöller, Leiter der Abteilung Makroökonomik und Vizepräsident des Leibniz-Instituts für Wirtschaftsforschung Halle (IWH). Der Produktionszuwachs in Ostdeutschland dürfte laut IWH-Prognose mit 1,3% höher ausfallen als in Gesamtdeutschland.
IWH-FDI-Mikrodatenbank Die IWH-FDI-Mikrodatenbank (FDI = Foreign Direct Investment)...
Micro-mechanisms Behind Declining Labour Shares: Market Power, Production Processes, and Global Competition
IWH-CompNet Discussion Papers,
This article investigates how changing production processes and increasing market power at the firm level relate to a fall in Germany’s manufacturing sector labour share. Coinciding with the fall of the labour share, I document a rise in firms’ product and labour market power. Notably, labour market power is a more relevant source of firms’ market power than product market power. Increasing product and labour market power, however, only account for 30% of the fall in the labour share. The remaining 70% are explained by a transition of firms towards less labour-intensive production activities. I study the role of final product trade in causing those secular movements. I find that rising foreign export demand contributes to a decline in the labour share by increasing labour market power within firms and by inducing a reallocation of economic activity from nonexporting- high-labour-share to exporting-low-labour-share firms
Potential International Employment Effects of a Hard Brexit
We use the World Input Output Database (WIOD) to estimate the potential employment effects of a hard Brexit in 43 countries. In line with other studies we assume that imports from the European Union (EU) to the UK will decline by 25% after a hard Brexit. The absolute effects are largest in big EU countries which have close trade relationships with the UK like Germany and France. However, there are also large countries outside the EU which are heavily affected via global value chains like China, for example. The relative effects (in percent of total employment) are largest in Malta and Ireland. UK employment will also be affected via intermediate input production. Within Germany, the motor vehicle industry and in particular the “Autostadt” Wolfsburg are most affected.
The Effect of the Single Currency on Exports: Comparative Firm-level Evidence
IWH-CompNet Discussion Papers,
We investigate how adopting the euro affects exports using firm-level data from Slovakia and Estonia. In contrast to previous studies, we focus on countries that adopted the euro individually and had different exchange rate regimes prior to doing so. Following the New Trade Theory we consider three types of adjustment: firm selection, changes in product varieties and changes in the average value of the exports that compose the exports of individual firms. The euro effect is identified by a difference in differences analysis comparing exports by firms to the euro area countries with exports to the EU countries that are not members of the euro area. The results highlight the importance of the transaction costs channel related to exchange rate volatility. We find the euro has a strong pro-trade effect in Slovakia, which switched to the euro from a floating exchange rate, while it has almost no effect in Estonia, which had a fixed exchange rate to the euro prior to the euro changeover. Our findings indicate that the euro effect manifested itself mainly through the intensive margin and that the gains from trade were heterogeneous across firm characteristics.