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Globalisation, Productive Systems, and Inequalities

Gilles  Duranton,  September 1998
Paper No' CEPDP0401: | Full paper (pdf)
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This Paper is published under the following series: CEP Discussion Papers
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Using the idea that the division of labor is limited not only by the extent of the market but also by its heterogeneity, it is proposed in this paper that ''globalisation'' is redrawing the lines of division within and between countries. Our model builds on the concept of productive systems. Our results indicate that progressive trade integration among ''similar'' countries lead first to disparities between countries and then to convergence between nations but also to inequalities within nations (thus possibly accounting for the deterioration of the labor market situation of the unskilled). It is also shown that trade integration among rich economies and/or rising skills therein can lead to the marginalisation of poorer countries (thus possibly accounting for the convergence of countries in the world economy towards a twin-peaked distribution and the delinking of some countries from the world trading system).