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China's Exports and Employment

In: China's Growing Role in World Trade

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  • Robert C. Feenstra
  • Chang Hong

Abstract

Dooley et al (2003, 2004a,b,c) argue that China seeks to raise urban employment by 10-12 million persons per year, with about 30% of that coming from export growth. In fact, total employment increased by 7.5-8 million per year over 1997-2005. We estimate that export growth over 1997-2002 contributed at most 2.5 million jobs per year, with most of the employment gains coming from non-traded goods like construction. Exports grew much faster over the 2000-2005 period, which could in principal explain the entire increase in employment. However, the growth in domestic demand led to three-times more employment gains than did exports over 2000-2005, while productivity growth subtracted the same amount again from employment. We conclude that exports have become increasingly important in stimulating employment in China, but that the same gains could be obtained from growth in domestic demand, especially for tradable goods, which has been stagnant until at least 2002.

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This chapter was published in:

  • Robert C. Feenstra & Shang-Jin Wei, 2010. "China's Growing Role in World Trade," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number feen07-1, July.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 10457.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:10457

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter Garber, 2004. "Direct Investment, Rising Real Wages and the Absorption of Excess Labor in the Periphery," NBER Working Papers 10626, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Hummels, David & Ishii, Jun & Yi, Kei-Mu, 2001. "The nature and growth of vertical specialization in world trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 75-96, June.
    3. Jahangir Aziz & Li Cui, 2007. "Explaining China's Low Consumption," IMF Working Papers 07/181, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Jeffrey R. Bernstein & David E. Weinstein, 1998. "Do Endowments Predict the Location of Production? Evidence from National and International Data," NBER Working Papers 6815, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Chen, Xikang & Cheng, Leonard & Fung, K.C. & Lau, Lawrence J. & Sung, YunWing & Yang, C. & Zhu, K. & Pei, J. & Tang, Z., 2008. "Domestic Value Added and Employment Generated by Chinese Exports: A Quantitative Estimation," MPRA Paper 15663, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Jahangir Aziz, 2006. "Rebalancing China's Economy," IMF Working Papers 06/291, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Claudia Goldin, 2004. "The Long Road to the Fast Track: Career and Family," NBER Working Papers 10331, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. William D. Nordhaus, 2001. "Productivity Growth and the New Economy," NBER Working Papers 8096, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter M. Garber, 2004. "The US Current Account Deficit and Economic Development: Collateral for a Total Return Swap," NBER Working Papers 10727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter Garber, 2003. "An Essay on the Revived Bretton Woods System," NBER Working Papers 9971, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter Garber, 2004. "The revived Bretton Woods system," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(4), pages 307-313.
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    Cited by:
    1. Chen, Xikang & Cheng, Leonard K. & Fung, K.C. & Lau, Lawrence J. & Sung, Yun-Wing & Zhu, K. & Yang, C. & Pei, J. & Duan, Y., 2012. "Domestic value added and employment generated by Chinese exports: A quantitative estimation," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 850-864.
    2. Rod Tyers & Iain Bain, 2007. "Appreciating the Renminbi," Departmental Working Papers 2007-09, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
    3. Joshua Aizenman & Yi Sun, 2008. "Globalization and the Sustainability of Large Current Account Imbalances: Size Matters," NBER Working Papers 13734, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Dong He & Wenlang Zhang, 2008. "How Dependent is the Chinese Economy on Exports and in What Sense has its Growth been Export-led?," Working Papers 0814, Hong Kong Monetary Authority.
    5. Luigi Bonatti & Andrea Fracasso, 2010. "Global Rebalancing and the Future of the Sino-US Codependency," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 18(s1), pages 70-87.
    6. Philipp Maier, 2008. "A Wave of Protectionism? An Analysis of Economic and Political Considerations," Working Papers 08-2, Bank of Canada.

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