Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 9 No. 3 (Summer 1995)


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Are Your Wages Set in Beijing?

Article Citation

Freeman, Richard B. 1995. "Are Your Wages Set in Beijing?" Journal of Economic Perspectives, 9(3): 15-32.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.9.3.15


The economic troubles of less-skilled workers in the United States. and OECD-Europe during a period of rising manufacturing imports from third world countries has created a debate about whether, in a global economy, wages or employment are determined by the global rather than domestic labor-market conditions. One side argues that trade is all that matters; another side, that trade does not matter at all. The author rejects these polar views; empirical analysis has found modest but real trade effects in displacement of less-skilled labor and declines in the price of goods produced by low-skilled workers.

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Freeman, Richard B. (Harvard U and NBER)

JEL Classifications

J31: Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
F14: Country and Industry Studies of Trade
J23: Labor Demand


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