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Cheap Imports and the Loss of U.S. Manufacturing Jobs

  • Abigail Cooke
  • Thomas Kemeny
  • David Rigby

This paper examines the role of international trade, and specifically imports from low-wage countries, in determining patterns of job loss in U.S. manufacturing industries between 1992 and 2007. Motivated by intuitions from factor-proportions-inspired work on offshoring and heterogeneous firms in trade, we build industry-level measures of import competition. Combining worker data from the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics dataset, detailed establishment information from the Census of Manufactures, and transaction-level trade data, we find that rising import competition from China and other developing economies increases the likelihood of job loss among manufacturing workers with less than a high school degree; it is not significantly related to job losses for workers with at least a college degree.

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File URL: http://www.spatialeconomics.ac.uk/textonly/SERC/publications/download/sercdp0148.pdf
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Paper provided by Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE in its series SERC Discussion Papers with number 0148.

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Date of creation: Nov 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cep:sercdp:0148
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.spatialeconomics.ac.uk/SERC/publications/default.asp

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