Most widely held works by Oleg Itskhoki
Labor market rigidities, trade and unemployment by Elhanan Helpman ( Book )
7 editions published between 2007 and 2009 in English and held by 49 libraries worldwide
We study a two-country two-sector model of international trade in which one sector produces homogeneous products while the other produces differentiated products. The differentiated-product industry has firm heterogeneity, monopolistic competition, search and matching in its labor market, and wage bargaining. Some of the workers searching for jobs end up being unemployed. Countries are similar except for frictions in their labor markets. We study the interaction of labor market rigidities and trade impediments in shaping welfare, trade flows, productivity, price levels and unemployment rates. We show that both countries gain from trade but that the flexible country -- which has lower labor market frictions -- gains proportionately more. A flexible labor market confers comparative advantage; the flexible country exports differentiated products on net. A country benefits by lowering frictions in its labor market, but this harms the country's trade partner. And the simultaneous proportional lowering of labor market frictions in both countries benefits both of them. The model generates rich patterns of unemployment. Specifically, trade integration -- which benefits both countries -- may raise their rates of unemployment. Moreover, differences in rates of unemployment do not necessarily reflect differences in labor market rigidities; the rate of unemployment can be higher or lower in the flexible country. Finally, we show that the flexible country has both higher total factor productivity and a lower price level, which operates against the standard Balassa-Samuelson effect.
Currency choice and exchange rate pass-through by Gita Gopinath ( Book )
4 editions published in 2007 in English and held by 42 libraries worldwide
A central assumption of open economy macro models with nominal rigidities relates to the currency in which goods are priced, whether there is so-called producer currency pricing or local currency pricing. This has important implications for exchange rate pass-through and optimal exchange rate policy. We show, using novel transaction level information on currency and prices for U.S. imports, that even conditional on a price change, there is a large difference in the pass-through of the average good priced in dollars (25%) versus non-dollars (95%). This finding is contrary to the assumption in a large class of models that the currency of pricing is exogenous and is evidence of an important selection effect that results from endogenous currency choice. We describe a model of optimal currency choice in an environment of staggered price setting and show that the empirical evidence strongly supports the model's predictions of the relation between currency choice and pass-through. We further document evidence of significant real rigidities, with the pass-through of dollar pricers increasing above 50% in the long-run. Lastly, we numerically illustrate the currency choice decision in both a Calvo and a menu-cost model with variable mark-ups and imported intermediate inputs and evaluate the ability of these models to match pass-through patterns documented in the data.
Inequality and unemployment in a global economy by Elhanan Helpman ( Book )
8 editions published between 2008 and 2009 in English and held by 29 libraries worldwide
This paper develops a new framework for examining the distributional consequences of trade liberalization that is consistent with increasing inequality in every country, growth in residual wage inequality, rising unemployment, and reallocation within and between industries. While the opening of trade yields welfare gains, unemployment and inequality within sectors are higher in the trade equilibrium than in the closed economy. In the open economy changes in trade openness have nonmonotonic effects on unemployment and inequality within sectors. As aggregate unemployment and inequality have within- and between-sector components, changes in sector composition following the opening of trade complicate its impact on aggregate unemployment and inequality. However, when countries are nearly symmetric, the sectoral composition effects reinforce the within-sector effects, and both aggregate inequality and aggregate unemployment rise with trade liberalization.
Frequency of price adjustment and pass-through by Gita Gopinath ( Book )
4 editions published in 2008 in English and held by 29 libraries worldwide
A common finding across empirical studies of price adjustment is that there is large heterogeneity in the frequency of price adjustment. However, there is little evidence of how distant prices are from the desired flexible price. Without this evidence, it is difficult to discern what the frequency measure implies for the transmission of shocks or to understand why some firms adjust more frequently than others. We exploit the open economy environment, which provides a well-identified and sizeable cost shock namely the exchange rate shock to shed light on these questions. First, we empirically document that high frequency adjusters have a long-run pass-through that is at least twice as high as low frequency adjusters in the data. Next, we show theoretically that long-run pass-through is determined by the same primitives that shape the curvature of the profit function and, hence, also affect frequency. In an environment with variable mark-ups or variable marginal costs, theory predicts a positive relation between frequency and pass-through, as documented in the data. Consequently, estimates of long-run pass-through shed light on the determinants of the duration of prices. The standard workhorse model with constant elasticity of demand and Calvo or state dependent pricing generates long-run pass-through that is uncorrelated with frequency, contrary to the data. Lastly, we calibrate a dynamic menu-cost model and show that variable mark-ups chosen to match the variation in pass-through in the data can generate substantial variation in price duration, equivalent to one third of the observed variation in the data.
Wages, unemployment and inequality with heterogeneous firms and workers by Elhanan Helpman ( Book )
4 editions published in 2008 in English and held by 28 libraries worldwide
In this paper we develop a multi-sector general equilibrium model of firm heterogeneity, worker heterogeneity and labor market frictions. We characterize the distributions of employment, unemployment, wages and income within and between sectors as a function of structural parameters. We find that greater firm heterogeneity increases unemployment, wage inequality and income inequality, whereas greater worker heterogeneity has ambiguous effects. We also find that labor market frictions have non-monotonic effects on aggregate unemployment and inequality through within- and between-sector components. Finally, high-ability workers have the lowest unemployment rates but the greatest wage inequality, and income inequality is lowest for intermediate ability. Although these results are interesting in their own right, the main contribution of the paper is in providing a framework for analyzing these types of issues.
In search of real rigidities by Gita Gopinath ( Book )
3 editions published in 2010 in English and held by 19 libraries worldwide
The closed and open economy literatures work on evaluating the role of real rigidities, but in parallel. This paper brings the two literatures together. We use international price data and exchange rate shocks to evaluate the importance of real rigidities in price setting. We show that consistent with the presence of real rigidities the response of reset-price inflation to exchange rate shocks depicts significant persistence. Individual import prices, conditional on changing, respond to exchange rate shocks prior to the last price change. At the same time aggregate reset-price inflation for imports, like that for consumer prices, depicts little persistence. Competitor prices affect firm pricing, and exchange rate pass-through into import prices is greater in response to trade-weighted as opposed to bilateral exchange rate shocks. We quantitatively evaluate sticky price models (Calvo and menu cost) with variable markups at the wholesale level and constant markups at the retail level, consistent with empirical evidence. Variable markups alone generate price sluggishness at the aggregate level, while they fall short of matching price persistence at the micro level. Finally, variable markups magnify the size of the contract multiplier, but their absolute effects are modest unless they are coupled with exogenous sources of persistence.
Trade and labor market outcomes by Elhanan Helpman ( Book )
6 editions published in 2011 in English and held by 18 libraries worldwide
This paper reviews a new framework for analyzing the interrelationship between inequality, unemployment, labor market frictions, and foreign trade. This framework emphasizes firm heterogeneity and search and matching frictions in labor markets. It implies that the opening of trade may raise inequality and unemployment, but always raises welfare. Unilateral reductions in labor market frictions increase a country's welfare, can raise or reduce its unemployment rate, yet always hurt the country's trade partner. Unemployment benefits can alleviate the distortions in a country's labor market in some cases but not in others, but they can never implement the constrained Pareto optimal allocation. We characterize the set of optimal policies, which require interventions in product and labor markets.
Labor market rigidities, trade, and unemployment by Helpman Elhanan ( Book )
1 edition published in 2009 in English and held by 1 library worldwide
International trade and labor markets : unemployment, inequality, and redistribution by Oleg Itskhoki ( Book )
1 edition published in 2009 in English and held by 1 library worldwide
International trade is typically believed to lead to aggregate welfare gains for trading countries. However, it is also often viewed as a source of growing social disparity--by causing unemployment and greater inequality within countries--which calls for an offsetting policy response. This dissertation consists of three theoretical essays studying these issues. The first chapter develops a model of international trade with labor market frictions that differ across countries. We show that differences in labor market institutions constitute a source of comparative advantage and lead to trade between otherwise similar countries. Although trade ensures aggregate welfare gains for both countries, the more flexible country stands to gain proportionately more. An increase in the country's labor market flexibility leads to welfare gains at home, but causes welfare losses in the trading partner via decreased competitiveness of foreign firms. Trade can increase or decrease unemployment by inducing an intersectoral labor reallocation generating rich patterns of unemployment.
Commercial policy Currency question--Mathematical models Elasticity (Economics) Elasticity (Economics)--Econometric models Foreign exchange rates Foreign exchange rates--Econometric models Free trade Frictional unemployment Income distribution Income distribution--Econometric models International trade International trade--Econometric models Labor market Labor market--Econometric models Manpower policy Prices--Econometric models Unemployment Unemployment--Econometric models United States Wages--Econometric models Wages--Effect of international trade on