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Untangling Trade and Technology: Evidence from Local Labor Markets

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Author Info

  • Autor, David

    ()
    (MIT)

  • Dorn, David

    ()
    (CEMFI, Madrid)

  • Hanson, Gordon H.

    ()
    (University of California, San Diego)

Abstract

We juxtapose the effects of trade and technology on employment in U.S. local labor markets between 1990 and 2007. Labor markets whose initial industry composition exposes them to rising Chinese import competition experience significant falls in employment, particularly in manufacturing and among non-college workers. Labor markets susceptible to computerization due to specialization in routine task-intensive activities experience significant occupational polarization within manufacturing and non-manufacturing but no net employment decline. Trade impacts rise in the 2000s as imports accelerate, while the effect of technology appears to shift from automation of production activities in manufacturing towards computerization of information-processing tasks in non-manufacturing.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7329.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7329

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Related research

Keywords: technological change; trade flows; import competition; skill demand; job tasks; local labor markets;

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References

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  1. Yuyu Chen & Ginger Zhe Jin & Yang Yue, 2010. "Peer Migration in China," NBER Working Papers 15671, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  3. Ebenstein, Avraham & Harrison, Ann & McMillan, Margaret & Phillips, Shannon, 2011. "Estimating the impact of trade and offshoring on American workers using the current population surveys," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5750, The World Bank.
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  8. Hsieh, Chang-Tai & Klenow, Peter J., 2012. "The Life Cycle of Plants in India and Mexico," Working Papers 12-20, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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  13. Oldenski, Lindsay, 2012. "Export Versus FDI and the Communication of Complex Information," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 312-322.
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Cited by:
  1. Nicole Maestas & Kathleen Mullen & David Powell, 2013. "The Effect of Local Labor Demand Conditions on the Labor Supply Outcomes of Older Americans," Discussion Papers 13-014, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  2. Beach, Charles M., 2014. "What Has Happened to Middle-Class Earnings? Distributional Shifts in Earnings in Canada, 1970-2005," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2014-13, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 26 Mar 2014.
  3. David H. Autor & David Dorn & Gordon H. Hanson & Jae Song, 2013. "Trade Adjustment: Worker Level Evidence," NBER Working Papers 19226, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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