Trade with Emerging Countries and the Labour Market : The French Case
This paper attempts to provide evidence on the labour market effects of French foreign trade with emerging countries. We start with a quick overview of the French labour market situation, which to highlight: (i) that unlike the US or the UK for which changes were dramatic, France experienced a very limited widening of the wage dispersion from the 1970s to the 1980s and the early 1990s ; this was to a large extent due to regulated rises in the real minimum wage; (ii) that France however did experience a widening in the dispersion of unemployment rates, as from 1971 to 1995 the trend increase in the unemployment rate of low-skill workers was 0.6 percentage points per annum, against 0.07 per annum for university graduates; and (iii), that research on the labour market effects of trade has therefore to focus on quantities rather than price channels of transmission.
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