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Francisco Alcalá and Pedro J. Hernández receive the SERIEs Award 2014 for their article on international trade

The jury highlighted its combination of rigorous empirical analysis with an insightful model

Ivie researcher Francisco Alcalá and Pedro J. Hernández, both professors of the University of Murcia, have received the SERIEs Award 2014, granted by the Spanish Economic Association, for their article Firms’ main market, human capital, and wages published in the SERIEs journal.

This award, created in 2014, will be given every two years to a research article published during the past four years in the Journal of the Spanish Economic Association (SERIEs) known for being a relevant and outstanding contribution.

The jury’s assessment

The jury’s reasoning is that the award-winning article “combines careful empirical analysis using matched employer-employee data for Spain with an insightful trade model to uncover novel evidence on the wage premium paid by exporters”. Exporters pay their workers more, even after adjusting for differences in human capital. Although this result has been known for some time, wage premia is usually simply associated with the condition of being an exporting company.

According to the jury, Alcalá and Hernández’s research “goes much further and shows that the exporter premium varies systematically by export destination”. Specifically, firms that supply to more distant markets pay a significantly higher premium. Wage premia also increase with the workers’ education.

Also, the international trade model presented helps explain other relevant facts, e.g. that firms can export to distant markets only if their products have enough quality which requires more skilled labor within each educational group, which in turn translates into higher wages. In the opinion of the jury, this contribution to the literature can be considered as “outstanding, careful and insightful”, which makes it worthy of the SERIEs award.

Tuesday, 29 October 2014