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The effects of import competition on worker health

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  • McManus, T. Clay
  • Schaur, Georg

Abstract

Occupational health is an important determinant of workers' welfare. Existing mechanisms and evidence from the international trade and occupational safety literatures combine to predict that import competition impacts work place injuries, especially at small firms that are most affected by foreign imports. We examine this prediction with novel data on injuries at US manufacturers using Chinese import growth in 1996–2007 as a shock to competition. The data show that injury rates in the competing US industries increase over the short to medium run, particularly at smaller establishments. Back-of-the-envelope calculations show that injury risk increases by 13% at the smallest establishments, the equivalent of a 1% to 2% reduction in workers' wages.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:102:y:2016:i:c:p:160-172
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jinteco.2016.06.003
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    Cited by:

    1. Abeliansky, Ana Lucia & Beulmann, Matthias, 2019. "Are they coming for us? Industrial robots and the mental health of workers," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 379, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    2. Matthieu Crozet & Laura Hering & Sandra Poncet, 2018. "Looking for the Bright Side of the China Syndrome: Rising Export Opportunities and Life Satisfaction in China," Working Papers 2018-14, CEPII research center.
    3. Hummels, David & Munch, Jakob & Xiang, Chong, 2015. "No Pain, No Gain: The Effects of Exports on Job Injury and Sickness," 2015: Trade and Societal Well-Being, December 13-15, 2015, Clearwater Beach, Florida 229253, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
    4. Schetter, Ulrich & Tejada, Oriol, 2018. "Globalization and the Concentration of Talent," Annual Conference 2018 (Freiburg, Breisgau): Digital Economy 181562, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. Rafael Dix-Carneiro & Rodrigo R. Soares & Gabriel Ulyssea, 2018. "Economic Shocks and Crime: Evidence from the Brazilian Trade Liberalization," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 158-195, October.
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    7. Dyballa, Katharina & Kraft, Kornelius, 2018. "Foreign Competition and Executive Compensation in the Manufacturing Industry: A Comparison between Germany and the U.S," IZA Discussion Papers 11713, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. repec:bla:chinae:v:26:y:2018:i:2:p:68-93 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Justin R. Pierce & Peter K. Schott, 2016. "Trade Liberalization and Mortality: Evidence from U.S. Counties," NBER Working Papers 22849, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:57:y:2019:i:2:p:1163-1181 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Dierk Herzer, 2017. "The Long-run Relationship Between Trade and Population Health: Evidence from Five Decades," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(2), pages 462-487, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Import competition; Safety; Injuries; Trade liberalization;

    JEL classification:

    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • F66 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Labor
    • J81 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Working Conditions
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General

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