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Survival of the Best Fit: Competition from Low Wage Countries and the (Uneven) Growth of U.S. Manufacturing Plants

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  • Andrew B Bernard
  • J. Bradford Jensen
  • Peter K Schott

Abstract

We examine the relationship between import competition from low wage countries and the reallocation of US manufacturing from 1977 to 1997. Both employment and output growth are slower for plants that face higher levels of low wage import competition in their industry. As a result, US manufacturing is reallocated over time towards industries that are more capital and skill intensive. Differential growth is driven by a combination of increased plant failure rates and slower growth of surviving plants. Within industries, low wage import competition has the strongest effects on the least capital and skill intensive plants. Surviving plants that switch industries move into more capital and skill intensive sectors when they face low wage competition.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 02-22.

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Date of creation: Oct 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:02-22

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Keywords: CES; economic; research; micro; data; microdata; chief; economist;

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References

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  1. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Howard J. Shatz, 1994. "Trade and Jobs in Manufacturing," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(1), pages 1-84.
  2. J Bradford Jensen & Andrew B Bernard, 2001. "Why Some Firms Export," Working Papers, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau 01-05, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. J. Bradford Jensen & Andrew B Bernard, 2002. "The Deaths of Manufacturing Plants," Working Papers, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau 02-15, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  4. Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1991. "Industrial Wage and Employment Determination in an Open Economy," NBER Chapters, in: Immigration, Trade and the Labor Market, pages 235-259 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Bruce A. Blonigen & KaSaundra Tomlin, 1999. "Size and Growth of Japanese Plants in the United States," NBER Working Papers 7275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Davis, Steven J & Haltiwanger, John C, 1992. "Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction, and Employment Reallocation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 819-63, August.
  7. Feenstra, Robert C, 1994. "New Product Varieties and the Measurement of International Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 157-77, March.
  8. Bronwyn H. Hall, 1986. "The Relationship Between Firm Size and Firm Growth in the U.S. Manufacturing Sector," NBER Working Papers 1965, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Richard B. Freeman, 1982. "Crime and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 1031, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Diewert, W. E., 1976. "Exact and superlative index numbers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 115-145, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Nan Nan Lundin, 2004. "Has Import Disciplined Swedish Manufacturing Firms in the 1990s?," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 109-133, 06.
  2. Alla Lileeva, 2008. "Trade liberalization and productivity dynamics: evidence from Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 41(2), pages 360-390, May.
  3. Stephen Redding & Andrew Bernard & Peter Schott, 2005. "Product Choice and Product Switching," Working Papers, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau 05-22, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  4. Alejandro Cuñat & Marco Maffezzoli, . "Trade Integration and Growth," Working Papers 220, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  5. Deborah L. Swenson, 2004. "Overseas Assembly and Country Sourcing Choices," NBER Working Papers 10697, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Bruce A. Blonigen & Lindsay Oldenski & Nicholas Sly, 2011. "Separating the Opposing Effects of Bilateral Tax Treaties," NBER Working Papers 17480, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Gu, Wulong & Sawchuk, Gary, 2006. "How Are Canadian Regions Adjusting to a Larger and More Integrated North American Market?," Economic Analysis (EA) Research Paper Series 2006039e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  8. Gu, Wulong & Sawchuk, Gary, 2006. "Comment les regions du Canada s'adaptent-elles a un marche nord-americain plus grand et plus integre?," Serie de documents de recherche sur l'analyse economique (AE) 2006039f, Statistics Canada, Direction des etudes analytiques.
  9. J. Bradford Jensen & Lori G. Kletzer, 2005. "Tradable Services: Understanding the Scope and Impact of Services Outsourcing," Working Paper Series, Peterson Institute for International Economics WP05-9, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  10. Lileeva, Alla, 2008. "Dynamique de la liberalisation des echanges et de la productivite : un eclairage canadien," Serie de documents de recherche sur l'analyse economique (AE) 2008051f, Statistics Canada, Direction des etudes analytiques.
  11. Van Biesebroeck, Johannes, 2005. "Exporting raises productivity in sub-Saharan African manufacturing firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 373-391, December.
  12. Robert C. Feenstra & John Romalis & Peter K. Schott, 2002. "U.S. Imports, Exports, and Tariff Data, 1989-2001," NBER Working Papers 9387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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