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Stalled Racial Progress and Japanese Trade in the 1970s and 1980s

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  • Mary Kate Batistich
  • Timothy N Bond

Abstract

We assess the impact of a rapid rise in Japanese import competition on the growth in racial earnings and employment gaps during the 1970s and 80s. Using commuting zone level variation in exposure, we find Japanese competition led to a decrease in manufacturing employment and labour force participation for blacks. This was driven by a shift in demand for skill in manufacturing. The difference in effects between the 10th percentile most and least exposed commuting zone was equivalent to 36–46% of the relative rise in black non-labour force participation, and 78–96% of the relative decline in black median male earnings.

Suggested Citation

  • Mary Kate Batistich & Timothy N Bond, 2023. "Stalled Racial Progress and Japanese Trade in the 1970s and 1980s," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 90(6), pages 2792-2821.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:90:y:2023:i:6:p:2792-2821.
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    2. David Autor & David Dorn & Gordon Hanson, 2021. "On the Persistence of the China Shock," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 52(2 (Fall)), pages 381-476.
    3. Elizabeth Caucutt & Nezih Guner & Christopher Rauh, 2018. "Is Marriage for White People? Incarceration, Unemployment, and the Racial Marriage Divide," Working Papers 2018-074, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    4. Jong‐Wha Lee, 2020. "Comments on “US–Japan Trade Frictions: The Past, the Present and Implications for US–China Trade War”," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, vol. 15(1), pages 162-163, January.
    5. Bond, Timothy N. & Giuntella, Osea & Lonsky, Jakub, 2023. "Immigration and work schedules: Theory and evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 152(C).
    6. Shujiro Urata, 2020. "US–Japan Trade Frictions: The Past, the Present, and Implications for the US–China Trade War," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, vol. 15(1), pages 141-159, January.
    7. Bhagia, Div & Bryson, Carter, 2023. "Understanding the racial employment gap: The role of sectoral shifts," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C).
    8. Leopoldo Gòmez-Ramírez & Marí­a Padilla-Romo, 2021. "Some Benefit, Some Are Left Behind: NAFTA and Educational Attainment in the United States," Working Papers 2021-02, University of Tennessee, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Racial disparities; Japanese trade; Import competition;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • N32 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • N62 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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