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China's Exports and Employment

In: China's Growing Role in World Trade

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  • Robert C. Feenstra
  • Chang Hong

Abstract

Dooley et al (2003, 2004a,b,c) argue that China seeks to raise urban employment by 10-12 million persons per year, with about 30% of that coming from export growth. In fact, total employment increased by 7.5-8 million per year over 1997-2005. We estimate that export growth over 1997-2002 contributed at most 2.5 million jobs per year, with most of the employment gains coming from non-traded goods like construction. Exports grew much faster over the 2000-2005 period, which could in principal explain the entire increase in employment. However, the growth in domestic demand led to three-times more employment gains than did exports over 2000-2005, while productivity growth subtracted the same amount again from employment. We conclude that exports have become increasingly important in stimulating employment in China, but that the same gains could be obtained from growth in domestic demand, especially for tradable goods, which has been stagnant until at least 2002.
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Suggested Citation

  • Robert C. Feenstra & Chang Hong, 2010. "China's Exports and Employment," NBER Chapters,in: China's Growing Role in World Trade, pages 167-199 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:10457
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter Garber, 2004. "The revived Bretton Woods system," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(4), pages 307-313.
    2. Bernstein, Jeffrey R. & Weinstein, David E., 2002. "Do endowments predict the location of production?: Evidence from national and international data," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 55-76, January.
    3. Chen, Xikang & Cheng, Leonard K. & Fung, K.C. & Lau, Lawrence J. & Sung, Yun-Wing & Zhu, K. & Yang, C. & Pei, J. & Duan, Y., 2012. "Domestic value added and employment generated by Chinese exports: A quantitative estimation," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 850-864.
    4. Claudia Goldin, 2004. "The Long Road to the Fast Track: Career and Family," NBER Working Papers 10331, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Jahangir Aziz & Li Cui, 2007. "Explaining China’s Low Consumption; The Neglected Role of Household Income," IMF Working Papers 07/181, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter M. Garber, 2005. "An essay on the revived Bretton Woods system," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Feb.
    7. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter Garber, 2007. "Direct Investment, Rising Real Wages and the Absorption of Excess Labor in the Periphery," NBER Chapters,in: G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment, pages 103-132 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Hummels, David & Ishii, Jun & Yi, Kei-Mu, 2001. "The nature and growth of vertical specialization in world trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 75-96, June.
    9. William D. Nordhaus, 2002. "Productivity Growth and the New Economy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(2), pages 211-265.
    10. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter M. Garber, 2004. "The US Current Account Deficit and Economic Development: Collateral for a Total Return Swap," NBER Working Papers 10727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Jahangir Aziz, 2006. "Rebalancing China’s Economy; What Does Growth Theory Tell Us?," IMF Working Papers 06/291, International Monetary Fund.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Rod Tyers & Ying Zhang, 2011. "Appreciating the Renminbi," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(2), pages 265-297, February.
    2. Rod Tyers & Ying Zhang, 2014. "Real exchange rate determination and the China puzzle," Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University, vol. 28(2), pages 1-32, November.
    3. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Brent Neiman & John Romalis, 2016. "Trade and the Global Recession," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(11), pages 3401-3438, November.
    4. Dong He & Zhiwei Zhang & Wenlang Zhang, 2009. "How Large Will Be The Effect Of China'S Fiscal Stimulus Package On Output And Employment?," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(5), pages 730-744, December.
    5. Timmer, Marcel & Los, Bart & Vries, Gaaitzen J. de, 2012. "China and the World Economy:A Global Value Chain Perspective on Exports, Incomes and Jobs," GGDC Research Memorandum GD-128, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
    6. Los, Bart & Timmer, Marcel P. & de Vries, Gaaitzen J., 2015. "How important are exports for job growth in China? A demand side analysis," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 19-32.
    7. Aizenman, Joshua & Sun, Yi, 2010. "Globalization and the sustainability of large current account imbalances: Size matters," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 35-44, March.
    8. He, Dong & Zhang, Wenlang, 2010. "How dependent is the Chinese economy on exports and in what sense has its growth been export-led?," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 87-104, February.
    9. Dietzenbacher, Erik & Pei, Jiansuo & Yang, Cuihong, 2012. "Trade, production fragmentation, and China's carbon dioxide emissions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 88-101.
    10. Aizenman, Joshua, 2015. "The internationalization of the RMB, capital market openness, and financial reforms in China," BOFIT Discussion Papers 4/2015, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
    11. Joshua Aizenman & Yothin Jinjarak & Nancy Marion, 2014. "China’s Growth, Stability, and Use of International Reserves," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 407-428, July.
    12. Chen, Xikang & Cheng, Leonard K. & Fung, K.C. & Lau, Lawrence J. & Sung, Yun-Wing & Zhu, K. & Yang, C. & Pei, J. & Duan, Y., 2012. "Domestic value added and employment generated by Chinese exports: A quantitative estimation," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 850-864.
    13. Luigi Bonatti & Andrea Fracasso, 2010. "Global Rebalancing and the Future of the Sino-US Codependency," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 18(s1), pages 70-87.
    14. Philipp Maier, 2008. "A Wave of Protectionism? An Analysis of Economic and Political Considerations," Staff Working Papers 08-2, Bank of Canada.
    15. Ďurčová, Júlia & Mirdala, Rajmund, 2016. "Offshoring Intensities and Skill Upgrading of Employment in the Slovak Republic," MPRA Paper 79921, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Joshua AIZENMAN & Minsoo LEE & Donghyun PARK, 2012. "The Relationship between Structural Change and Inequality: A Conceptual Overview with Special Reference to Developing Asia," Working Papers DP-2012-13, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
    17. Joshua Aizenman & Rajeswari Sengupta, 2011. "Global Imbalances: Is Germany the New China? A Skeptical View," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 387-400, July.
    18. Aizenman, Joshua & Jinjarak, Yothin & Marion, Nancy P., 2014. "The People's Republic of China's Growth, Stability, and Use of International Reserves," ADBI Working Papers 455, Asian Development Bank Institute.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • R15 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Econometric and Input-Output Models; Other Methods

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