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The ‘China shock,’ exports and U.S. employment: A global input–output analysis

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  • Robert C. Feenstra
  • Akira Sasahara

Abstract

This paper quantifies the impact on U.S. employment from imports and exports during 1995–2011, using the World Input–Output Database. We find that the growth in U.S. exports led to increased demand for 2 million jobs in manufacturing, 0.5 million in resource industries, and a remarkable 4.1 million jobs in services, totaling 6.6 million. Two‐thirds of those service sectors jobs are due to the export of services themselves, whereas one‐third is due to the intermediate demand from manufacturing and resource—or merchandise—exports, so the total labor demand gain due to merchandise exports was 3.7 million jobs. In comparison, U.S. merchandise imports from China led to reduced demand of 1.4 million jobs in manufacturing and 0.6 million in services (with small losses in resource industries), with total job losses of 2.0 million. It follows that the expansion in U.S. merchandise exports relative to imports from China over 1995–2011 created net demand for about 1.7 million jobs. Comparing the growth of U.S. merchandise exports to merchandise imports from all countries, we find a fall in net labor demand due to trade, but comparing the growth of total U.S. exports to total imports from all countries, then there is a rise in net labor demand because of the growth in service exports.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert C. Feenstra & Akira Sasahara, 2018. "The ‘China shock,’ exports and U.S. employment: A global input–output analysis," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(5), pages 1053-1083, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:26:y:2018:i:5:p:1053-1083
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/roie.12370
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Fischer, Andreas M & Saure, Philip, 2018. "Identifying Chinese Supply Shocks - Effects of Trade on Labor Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 13122, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Robert C. Feenstra & Hong Ma & Yuan Xu, 2017. "US Exports and Employment," NBER Working Papers 24056, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Connell, William & Simons, Wouter & Vandenbussche, Hylke, 2018. "The cost of non-TTIP: A Global Value Chain Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 12705, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Antonio Rodriguez-Lopez & Miaojie Yu, 2017. "All-Around Trade Liberalization and Firm-Level Employment: Theory and Evidence from China," CESifo Working Paper Series 6710, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Sasahara, Akira, 2018. "Explaining the Employment Effect of Exports: Value-Added Content Matters," MPRA Paper 89731, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E16 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Social Accounting Matrix
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F60 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - General
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations

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