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Empirical evidence on the relationship between trade and informal labour markets suggests variations due to country-specific characteristics - in particular, labour market rigidity, capital mobility, level of economic development and heterogeneity of the informal workforce.
This paper draws on three data sources to establish a matched firm-level data set covering trade, economic variables and employment for the time period from 1995 to 2004.
Agriculture continues to create jobs in rural areas of South Africa, albeit mainly in low-wage occupations, and future trade liberalisation would increase employment in the agricultural sector, according to this study.
Imports tend to bring wages up for skilled workers rather than push wages down, according to this study of the relationship between wages and trade in 55 countries and 40 industries. This positive effect is evidence of the increased productivity of firms who import inputs.
Trade in tasks represents the latest turn in a virtuous cycle of deepening specialisation of labour, expansion of the market and productivity growth. This paper analyses the task content of goods and services and sheds light on structural changes that take place following trade liberalisation.
Trade liberalisation in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector, a major contributor to innovation and productivity growth, can help foster competition and reduce prices for consumers, according to this study.
Offshoring by OECD-based multinationals is mainly carried out in other OECD economies and often in high-cost countries, for high-value, knowledge-intensive activities. Developing economies must try to attract these types of activities and not be confined to low-value activities.
Emerging economies are increasingly important in the pharmaceutical sector as markets and as research and development (R&D) participants. Further involvement by these economies in international trade facilitating measures will help trade, innovation and globalisation of R&D.
Technology, lower transport costs and trade in intermediate inputs and tasks have given countries access to additional labour and capital than what is just available within their borders. Policy makers should focus on these changing dynamics in resource bases.
Access to international trade in intermediate inputs boosts innovation and productivity for domestic firms, according to this study. However, these dynamic gains from trade depend on complementary policies such as access to finance, access to skilled labour and macroeconomic stability.