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The Effect of Trade with Low-Income Countries on U.S. Industry

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  • Auer, Raphael
  • Fischer, Andreas M

Abstract

When labor abundant nations grow, their exports increase more in labor intensive than in capital intensive sectors. We utilize this difference in how exports are affected by growth to identify the causal effect of trade with low-income countries (LICs) on U.S. industry. Our framework relates differences in sectoral inflation rates to differences in comparative advantage-induced import growth rates and abstracts from aggregate fluctuations and sector specific trends. In a panel covering 325 six-digit NAICS manufacturing industries from 1997 to 2006, we find that LIC exports are associated with strong downward pressure on U.S. producer prices and a large effect on productivity. When LIC exporters capture 1% U.S. market share producer prices decrease by 3%, which is nearly fully accounted by a 2.4% increase in productivity and a 0.3% decrease in markups. We also document that while LICs on average find it easier to penetrate sectors with elastic demand, the price and productivity response to import competition is much stronger in industries with inelastic demand. Overall, between 1997 and 2006, the effect of LIC trade on manufacturing PPI inflation was around two percentage points per year, far too large to be neglected in macroeconomic analysis.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6819.

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Date of creation: May 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6819

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Keywords: comparative advantage; globalization; low-wage country import competition;

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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Imports from Low-Wage Nations and US Inflation
    by Mark Thoma in Economist's View on 2008-06-13 07:24:00
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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Cited by:
  1. Alexandre, Fernando & Bação, Pedro & Cerejeira, João & Portela, Miguel, 2009. "Employment and Exchange Rates: The Role of Openness and Technology," IZA Discussion Papers 4191, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Jürgen Janger, 2008. "Supply-Side Triggers for Inflation in Austria," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 2, pages 34–69.
  3. Matteo Bugamelli & Fabiano Schivardi & Roberta Zizza, . "The euro and firm restructuring," Working Papers 10, Department of the Treasury, Ministry of the Economy and of Finance.
  4. Fernando Alexandre & Pedro Bação & João Cerejeira & Miguel Portela, 2010. "Manufacturing employment and exchange rates in the Portuguese economy: the role of openness, technology and labour market rigidity," NIPE Working Papers 22/2010, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  5. Matteo Bugamelli & Silvia Fabiani & Enrico Sette, 2010. "The pro-competitive effect of imports from China: an analysis of firm-level price data," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 737, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  6. José De Gregorio, 2008. "The Tensions of the World Economy," Economic Policy Papers Central Bank of Chile 27, Central Bank of Chile.
  7. Raphael Anton Auer & Kathrin Degen & Andreas M. Fischer, 2011. "Low-Wage Import Competition, Inflationary Pressure,and Industry Dynamics in Europe," Working Papers 2011-09, Swiss National Bank.
  8. De Gregorio R., José, 2008. "Las tensiones de la economía mundial," PERFIL DE COYUNTURA ECONÓMICA, UNIVERSIDAD DE ANTIOQUIA - CIE.
  9. ITO Koji, 2013. "Impact of Growing Imports: A comparison of international and domestic firms in the Japanese manufacturing industry (Japanese)," Discussion Papers (Japanese) 13034, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).

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