Trade Liberalization and Regional Dynamics†

Trade Liberalization and Regional Dynamics† AbstractWe study the evolution of trade liberalization's effects on Brazilian local labor markets. Regions facing larger tariff cuts experienced prolonged declines in formal sector employment and earnings relative to other regions. The impact of tariff changes on regional earnings 20 years after liberalization was three times the effect after 10 years. These increasing effects on regional earnings are inconsistent with conventional spatial equilibrium models, which predict declining effects due to spatial arbitrage. We investigate potential mechanisms, finding empirical support for a mechanism involving imperfect interregional labor mobility and dynamics in labor demand, driven by slow capital adjustment and agglomeration economies. This mechanism gradually amplifies the effects of liberalization, explaining the slow adjustment path of regional earnings and quantitatively accounting for the magnitude of the long-run effects. (JEL F16, J23, J31, J61, O15, O19, R23) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Economic Review American Economic Association

Trade Liberalization and Regional Dynamics†

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Publisher
American Economic Association
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 © American Economic Association
ISSN
0002-8282
D.O.I.
10.1257/aer.20161214
Publisher site
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Abstract

AbstractWe study the evolution of trade liberalization's effects on Brazilian local labor markets. Regions facing larger tariff cuts experienced prolonged declines in formal sector employment and earnings relative to other regions. The impact of tariff changes on regional earnings 20 years after liberalization was three times the effect after 10 years. These increasing effects on regional earnings are inconsistent with conventional spatial equilibrium models, which predict declining effects due to spatial arbitrage. We investigate potential mechanisms, finding empirical support for a mechanism involving imperfect interregional labor mobility and dynamics in labor demand, driven by slow capital adjustment and agglomeration economies. This mechanism gradually amplifies the effects of liberalization, explaining the slow adjustment path of regional earnings and quantitatively accounting for the magnitude of the long-run effects. (JEL F16, J23, J31, J61, O15, O19, R23)

Journal

American Economic ReviewAmerican Economic Association

Published: Oct 1, 2017

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