Trade, wages, and collective bargaining
Rue de la Banque
Wages, Micro‑econometric techniques, Firm-level trade activities, Collective bargaining
Collective bargaining modify the impact of exports and imports on wages? In a seminal paper, Calmfors and Driffill (1988) show that, in firms covered by firm‑level wage agreements, wages are better linked to productivity than in firms covered by industry‑level agreements. Gürtzgen (2009) lends support to these predictions using data for German manufacturing firms. Our study looks at data from individual French firms on wages, exports/imports and collective bargaining over the period 2005‑2009. Our sample comprises more than 8,000 firms (among the largest French exporters/importers) which account for over two thirds of French exports and imports of manufactured goods. Using micro‑econometric techniques, we examine two questions: (i) do exporting and offshoring lead to higher wages and, if so, is the effect heterogeneous across workers? (ii) to what extent does wage bargaining shape the effect of trade on wages? International trade favours exports but also creates opportunities for offshoring. This Rue de la Banque studies the impact of firm-level trade activities on wages, as well as the role of collective bargaining. Both exports and offshoring have a positive impact on wages, but exports increase wages for all occupational categories, while the impact of an increase in offshoring is stronger for executives. The elasticity of wages with respect to exports and offshoring is positive and is higher for firms with collective bargaining. However, we find that collective bargaining reduces only moderately wage inequalities induced by offshoring.