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Multinationals, Offshoring, and the Decline of U.S. Manufacturing

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  • Boehm, Christoph E.
  • Flaaen, Aaron
  • Pandalai-Nayar, Nitya

Abstract

We provide new facts about the role of multinationals in the decline in U.S. manufacturing employment between 1993 and 2011, using a novel microdata panel with firm-level ownership and trade information. Multinational-owned establishments displayed lower employment growth than a narrow control group and accounted for 41% of the aggregate decline. Newly multinational establishments experienced job losses, while their parent firms increased foreign input imports. We develop a model that rationalizes this behavior and bound a key elasticity with our microdata. The estimates imply that multinational offshoring was responsible for a sizable reduction in U.S. manufacturing employment.

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  • Boehm, Christoph E. & Flaaen, Aaron & Pandalai-Nayar, Nitya, 2020. "Multinationals, Offshoring, and the Decline of U.S. Manufacturing," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:127:y:2020:i:c:s0022199620301069
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jinteco.2020.103391
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    2. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2018. "Global Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 56(2), pages 565-619, June.
    3. Gumpert, Anna & Li, Haishi & Moxnes, Andreas & Ramondo, Natalia & Tintelnot, Felix, 2020. "The life-cycle dynamics of exporters and multinational firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C).
    4. Ufuk Akcigit & Sina Ates, 2019. "What Happened to the U.S. Business Dynamism?," 2019 Meeting Papers 150, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Matthias Kehrig & Nicolas Vincent, 2017. "Growing Productivity without Growing Wages: The Micro-Level Anatomy of the Aggregate Labor Share Decline," CESifo Working Paper Series 6454, CESifo.
    6. Davide Furceri & Prakash Loungani & Jonathan D. Ostry, 2019. "The Aggregate and Distributional Effects of Financial Globalization: Evidence from Macro and Sectoral Data," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 51(S1), pages 163-198, December.
    7. Alessandro Bellocchi & Giovanni Marin & Giuseppe Travaglini, 2021. "The Great Fall of Labor Share:Micro Determinants for EU Countries Over 2011-2019," Working Papers 2102, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Department of Economics, Society & Politics - Scientific Committee - L. Stefanini & G. Travaglini, revised 2021.
    8. ADACHI Daisuke & SAITO Yukiko, 2020. "Multinational Production and Labor Share," Discussion papers 20012, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    9. Ufuk Akcigit & Sina T. Ates, 2021. "Ten Facts on Declining Business Dynamism and Lessons from Endogenous Growth Theory," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 257-298, January.
    10. Andrew B. Bernard & Teresa C. Fort & Valerie Smeets & Frederic Warzynski, 2020. "Heterogeneous Globalization: Offshoring and Reorganization," NBER Working Papers 26854, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Douglas L. Campbell & Karsten Mau, 2019. "Trade Induced Technological Change: Did Chinese Competition Increase Innovation in Europe?," Working Papers w0252, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
    12. Campbell, Douglas L., 2020. "Relative Prices and Hysteresis: Evidence from US Manufacturing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 129(C).
    13. Blaum, Joaquin & Lelarge, Claire & Peters, Michael, 2019. "Firm size, quality bias and import demand," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 59-83.
    14. Muendler, Marc-Andreas, 2017. "Trade, technology, and prosperity: An account of evidence from a labor-market perspective," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2017-15, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    15. Peter Schott & Justin Pierce & Georg Schaur & Sebastian Heise, 2017. "Trade Policy Uncertainty and the Structure of Supply Chains," 2017 Meeting Papers 788, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Multinational firms; Offshoring; Outsourcing; Manufacturing employment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business

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