Nº 146 (July, 2013). Erhan Artuç, Daniel Lederman & Guido Porto.

“A mapping of labor mobility costs in the developing world”.

Estimates of labor mobility costs are needed to assess the responses of employment and wages to a trade shock when factor adjustment is costly. Available methods to estimate those costs rely on panel data, which are seldom available in developing countries. In this paper, we propose a method to estimate mobility costs using data that is more easily obtainable worldwide. Our estimator matches observed employment flows with those flows predicted by a model of costly labor adjustment. We estimate a mapping of labor mobility costs for the developing world and we use those estimates to explore the response of labor markets (wages and employment) to trade policy.

JEL Code: F16, D58, J2, J6