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Firm heterogeneity and trade-induced layoffs: An empirical investigation

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  • Uysal, Pinar
  • Yotov, Yoto V.
  • Zylkin, Thomas

Abstract

We use a novel data set with verified observations of trade-induced layoffs by U.S. firms to study the interaction between firm productivity and trade liberalization as key determinants of firm-level job destruction due to trade. We find that patterns of trade-induced layoffs are broadly consistent with the predictions for firm-level employment generated by the Melitz (2003) heterogeneous firms theory – the number of trade-induced layoffs increases with firm productivity for non-exporting firms but decreases with firm productivity for exporting firms. The fact that exporting firms incur trade-induced layoffs at all invites a refined interpretation of the theory. Our findings suggest that exporting firms may lay off some workers who work in production for their shrinking domestic segments, while also engaging in some within-firm reallocation of workers. We also find that, even after controlling for productivity and export status, larger firms lay off more workers due to trade competition.

Suggested Citation

  • Uysal, Pinar & Yotov, Yoto V. & Zylkin, Thomas, 2015. "Firm heterogeneity and trade-induced layoffs: An empirical investigation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 80-97.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:75:y:2015:i:c:p:80-97
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2015.01.006
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    Cited by:

    1. Christopher Laincz & Xenia Matschke & Yoto V. Yotov, 2016. "Policy and Politics: Trade Adjustment Assistance in the Crossfire," CESifo Working Paper Series 5697, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Kondo, Illenin O., 2018. "Trade-induced displacements and local labor market adjustments in the U.S," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 180-202.
    3. McManus, T. Clay & Schaur, Georg, 2016. "The effects of import competition on worker health," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 160-172.
    4. Illenin O. Kondo, 2013. "Trade Reforms, Foreign Competition, and Labor Market Adjustments in the U.S," International Finance Discussion Papers 1095, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), revised 01 Dec 2013.
    5. Christopher Laincz & Xenia Matschke & Yoto V. Yotov, 2016. "Policy and Politics: Trade Adjustment Assistance in the Crossfire," CESifo Working Paper Series 5697, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Heterogeneous firms; Trade liberalization; Trade-induced layoffs;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs

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