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The Surprisingly Swift Decline of U.S. Manufacturing Employment

  • Justin Pierce
  • Peter Schott

This paper finds a link between the sharp drop in U.S. manufacturing employment beginning in 2001 and a change in U.S. trade policy that eliminated potential tariff increases on Chinese imports. Industries where the threat of tariff hikes declines the most experience more severe employment losses along with larger increases in the value of imports from China and the number of firms engaged in China-U.S. trade. These results are robust to other potential explanations of the employment loss, and we show that the U.S. employment trends differ from those in the EU, where there was no change in policy.

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File URL: ftp://ftp2.census.gov/ces/wp/2013/CES-WP-13-59.pdf
File Function: First version, 2013
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 13-59.

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Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:13-59
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  1. Amit K. Khandelwal & Peter K. Schott & Shang-Jin Wei, 2013. "Trade Liberalization and Embedded Institutional Reform: Evidence from Chinese Exporters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2169-95, October.
  2. Zhihong Yu & Yundan Gong & Sourafel Girma & Holger Görg, 2008. "Can production subsidies explain China's export performance? Evidence from firm level data," Kiel Working Papers 1442, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  3. Philippe Aghion & Mathias Dewatripont & Luosha Du & Ann Harrison & Patrick Legros, 2012. "Industrial Policy and Competition," NBER Working Papers 18048, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Barry T. Hirsch & David A. Macpherson, 2003. "Union Membership and Coverage Database from the Current Population Survey: Note," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(2), pages 349-354, January.
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