Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Low-Skill Products by High-Skill Workers: The Distributive Effects of Trade in Emerging and Developing Countries


Menéndez González, Irene; Owen, Erica; Walter, Stefanie (2023). Low-Skill Products by High-Skill Workers: The Distributive Effects of Trade in Emerging and Developing Countries. Comparative Political Studies, 56(11):1724-1759.

Abstract

In developing countries, trade is increasingly associated with greater returns to high-skilled labor and rising inequality. These empirical patterns are at odds with canonical models of trade in the developing world. What does this mean for the political economy of trade in these countries? We argue that although developing countries have a comparative advantage in low-skill products, these are produced by workers that are relatively high-skilled compared to their peers. Trade and global production benefit relatively skilled workers, particularly those exposed to exports and inward foreign direct investment in manufacturing. Our argument offers insight into why relatively skilled workers are most supportive of free trade and why inequality is rising in developing countries. We examine micro- and macro-level implications of our argument using cross-national survey data on policy preferences and aggregate data on trade and inequality. The findings have important implications for the political economy of trade and global production in developing countries.

Abstract

In developing countries, trade is increasingly associated with greater returns to high-skilled labor and rising inequality. These empirical patterns are at odds with canonical models of trade in the developing world. What does this mean for the political economy of trade in these countries? We argue that although developing countries have a comparative advantage in low-skill products, these are produced by workers that are relatively high-skilled compared to their peers. Trade and global production benefit relatively skilled workers, particularly those exposed to exports and inward foreign direct investment in manufacturing. Our argument offers insight into why relatively skilled workers are most supportive of free trade and why inequality is rising in developing countries. We examine micro- and macro-level implications of our argument using cross-national survey data on policy preferences and aggregate data on trade and inequality. The findings have important implications for the political economy of trade and global production in developing countries.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics
4 citations in Web of Science®
2 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

1 download since deposited on 29 Aug 2023
1 download since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Political Science
Uncontrolled Keywords:trade, inequality, preferences, political economy, distributive effects, developing countries
Language:English
Date:September 2023
Deposited On:29 Aug 2023 14:32
Last Modified:30 Mar 2024 04:37
Publisher:Sage Publications
ISSN:0010-4140
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/00104140231152800
Related URLs:https://www.zora.uzh.ch/id/eprint/161811/