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Khadija van der Straaten

International trade and domestic inequality: A combined macro, meso and micro level approach


Academics and policy-makers are concerned about the rise in domestic income inequality that many countries have experienced in recent decades. A main potential explanation for this trend is the exponential increase in international trade. However, both theoretically and empirically, the relationship between trade and inequality remains ambiguous. This dissertation contributes to the understanding of this relationship by incorporating the latest conceptual insights and new empirical data on how international trade adds value and employment to economies (providing a more direct link with inequality); by combining macro, meso, and micro levels of analysis; and by using non-economic measures of inequality.