Doctoral thesis

Wage differential of a trans–border labor market, a quantitative analysis


74 p

Thèse de doctorat: Università della Svizzera italiana, 2007 (jury note: summa cum laude)

English The location of Switzerland in the center of Europe without being member of the European Union implies that wages can be greatly influenced by trans-border labor markets which are of different relevance for various regions. Moreover, since 1st June 2002 the Swiss labor market is experiencing a transition period where the Free Movement of Persons between Switzerland and the European Union member states will be gradually introduced and fully implemented within 12 years. The purpose of this thesis is to investigate wage differentials in Switzerland as an important topic of analysis. The dissertation is composed of three related essays. The first one analyses wage differentials among Swiss regions. We decompose the regional wage differentials in two components (i.e. endowment and remuneration) applying a method proposed by Yun (2005) in an extension of the Blinder-Oaxaca methodology for a detailed decomposition. The other two essays focus on the Swiss border Canton of Ticino. The second essay investigates wage differentials among natives and foreigners in a trans-border labor market segmented by task. Two methodologies have been used to decompose the gap into endowment and unexplained component: the traditional parametric Blinder-Oaxaca approach and a nonparametric propensity score matching technique. Finally the third essay analyzes the impact of cross-border commuters on Swiss labor market in view of its liberalization. This is a particular labor market with high levels of foreign workers and a regulatory discontinuity across two inside regions. The possibility to distinguish two areas where cross-border commuters can be employed or not is the key of this analysis. Taking into account immigration endogeneity as well as the limited mobility of local labor supply, local workers wages have been compared across the regulatory discontinuity in order to understand if cross-border commuters may generate a downward wage pressure on Swiss workers.
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