Labor market effects of export processing zones in the presence of unemployment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When foreign firms motivated by higher profits engage in off-shore production activities of unemployment ridden host countries, concerns increase about the possibility of exploitation of local workers. However, using a two good two factor model this paper shows that foreign firms’ engagement under the scenario actually improves the host country's structure of wages, skill composition, employment level and wage inequality which cannot be achieved under full employment in the host countries. This paper thus presents a mechanism that explains the effects of export processing zones observed in most of the transitional economies of the world. Results have practical implications for traditional structural changes expected for these economies. Although foreign firms come to earn profits, it is possible for host country workers to take a part of the rent away from the foreign firms as they are doing currently in different parts of the world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-29
Number of pages11
JournalEconomic Modelling
StatePublished - Nov 2017


  • Foreign firms
  • Host country workers
  • Unemployment


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