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Capturing the jobs from globalization: trade and employment in global value chains

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  • Xiao Jiang
  • William Milberg
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    Abstract

    Abstract With the steady growth of global value chains (GVCs), each country’s trade now has a more complex relationship with the international division of labor. We decompose the employment effects of a country’s trade into five components, specifically the labour content (1) in exports, (2) in imports, (3) in the import content of exports, (4) in the export content of imports and (5) in intermediates contained in imports. The last three components relate strictly to a country’s participation in GVCs. With the availability of World Input-Output Database (WIOD), we are able to compute the amount of employment generated by each component for 39 countries over 1995-2009. On the aggregate level, final goods trade generated demand for about 538 million jobs in 2009, and GVC trade produced demand for about 88 million jobs. The countries with the greatest GVC-based labour demand are Germany, the US, China, the Netherlands and France. The only emerging developing economy that comes close to them in this respect is China. The countries with the largest positive difference between domestic and foreign labour demand are China, India, Indonesia and Brazil. On the other hand, the countries with greatest negative difference between domestic and foreign labour demand are the US, Germany and Japan. For the full sample in 2009, the import content of exports led to the demand for about 44 million jobs. Third-party intermediates contained in imports generated labour demand of about 39 million jobs. And the export content of imports created demand for about 5 million jobs. Using the data on ‘hours worked by skill type’ in the Social Economic Accounts, we find that, on a global scale, vertical specialization contained significantly more medium-skill and low-skill than high-skill labour content.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by BWPI, The University of Manchester in its series Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series with number ctg-2013-30.

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    Date of creation: 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:bwp:bwppap:ctg-2013-30

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    1. Escaith, Hubert & Lindenberg, Nannette & Miroudot, Sébastien, 2010. "International Supply Chains and Trade Elasticity in Times of Global Crisis," MPRA Paper 20478, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. David Hummels & Jun Ishii & Kei-Mu Yi, 1999. "The nature and growth of vertical specialization in world trade," Staff Reports 72, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    3. Sébastien Miroudot & Rainer Lanz & Alexandros Ragoussis, 2009. "Trade in Intermediate Goods and Services," OECD Trade Policy Papers 93, OECD Publishing.
    4. Gaaitzen De Vries & Neil Foster-McGregor & Robert Stehrer, 2012. "Value Added and Factors in Trade: A Comprehensive Approach," wiiw Working Papers 80, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    5. Kei-Mu Yi, 2003. "Can Vertical Specialization Explain the Growth of World Trade?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(1), pages 52-102, February.
    6. Yuqing Xing & Neal Detert, 2010. "How iPhone Widens the US Trade Deficits with the PRC?," GRIPS Discussion Papers 10-21, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
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