IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ces/ceswps/_5978.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

International Trade and Job Polarization: Evidence at the Worker Level

Author

Listed:
  • Wolfgang Keller
  • Hale Utar

Abstract

This paper examines the role of international trade for job polarization, the phenomenon in which employment for high- and low-wage occupations increases but mid-wage occupations decline. With employer-employee matched data on virtually all workers and firms in Denmark between 1999 and 2009, we use instrumental-variables techniques and a quasi-natural experiment to show that import competition is a major cause of job polarization. Import competition with China accounts for about 17% of the aggregate decline in mid-wage employment. Many mid-skill workers are pushed into low-wage service jobs while others move into high-wage jobs. The direction of movement, up or down, turns on the skill focus of workers' education. Workers with vocational training for a service occupation can avoid moving into low-wage service jobs, and among them workers with information-technology education are far more likely to move into high-wage jobs than other workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Wolfgang Keller & Hale Utar, 2016. "International Trade and Job Polarization: Evidence at the Worker Level," CESifo Working Paper Series 5978, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5978
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.cesifo.org/DocDL/cesifo1_wp5978.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hale Utar, 2016. "Workers Beneath the Floodgates: Low-Wage Import Competition and Workers' Adjustment," CESifo Working Paper Series 6224, CESifo.
    2. Alexandra Spitz-Oener, 2006. "Technical Change, Job Tasks, and Rising Educational Demands: Looking outside the Wage Structure," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 235-270, April.
    3. Mette Foged & Giovanni Peri, 2016. "Immigrants' Effect on Native Workers: New Analysis on Longitudinal Data," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 1-34, April.
    4. Sascha Becker & Marc-Andreas Muendler & Sascha O. Becker, 2014. "Trade and Tasks: An Exploration over Three Decades in Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 5122, CESifo.
    5. David H. Autor & David Dorn & Gordon H. Hanson, 2013. "The China Syndrome: Local Labor Market Effects of Import Competition in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2121-2168, October.
    6. Georg Graetz & Guy Michaels, 2018. "Robots at Work," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 100(5), pages 753-768, December.
    7. Sascha O. Becker & Marc-Andreas Muendler, 2015. "Trade and tasks: an exploration over three decades in Germany," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 30(84), pages 589-641.
    8. Fane Groes & Philipp Kircher & Iourii Manovskii, 2015. "The U-Shapes of Occupational Mobility," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(2), pages 659-692.
    9. Shushanik Hakobyan & John McLaren, 2016. "Looking for Local Labor Market Effects of NAFTA," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(4), pages 728-741, October.
    10. Bernard, Andrew B. & Jensen, J. Bradford & Schott, Peter K., 2006. "Survival of the best fit: Exposure to low-wage countries and the (uneven) growth of U.S. manufacturing plants," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 219-237, January.
    11. Dix Carneiro,Rafael & Kovak,Brian K., 2015. "Trade reform and regional dynamics : evidence from 25 years of Brazilian matched employer-employee data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7205, The World Bank.
    12. Hale Utar, 2014. "When the Floodgates Open: "Northern" Firms' Response to Removal of Trade Quotas on Chinese Goods," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 226-250, October.
    13. 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 2169-2195, October.
    14. Guy Michaels & Ashwini Natraj & John Van Reenen, 2014. "Has ICT Polarized Skill Demand? Evidence from Eleven Countries over Twenty-Five Years," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(1), pages 60-77, March.
    15. Brian K. Kovak, 2013. "Regional Effects of Trade Reform: What Is the Correct Measure of Liberalization?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1960-1976, August.
    16. Utar, Hale & Ruiz, Luis B. Torres, 2013. "International competition and industrial evolution: Evidence from the impact of Chinese competition on Mexican maquiladoras," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 267-287.
    17. Alan S. Blinder & Alan B. Krueger, 2013. "Alternative Measures of Offshorability: A Survey Approach," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(S1), pages 97-128.
    18. Bram Timmermans, 2010. "The Danish Integrated Database for Labor Market Research: Towards Demystification for the English Speaking Audience," DRUID Working Papers 10-16, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Luca Marcolin & Mariagrazia Squicciarini, 2018. "Investing in Innovation and Skills: Thriving through Global Value Chains," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 9(1).
    2. Fischer, Andreas M & Saure, Philip, 2018. "Identifying Chinese Supply Shocks - Effects of Trade on Labor Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 13122, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. James Harrigan & Ariell Reshef & Farid Toubal, 2016. "The March of the Techies: Technology, Trade, and Job Polarization in France, 1994-2007," Working Papers 2016-15, CEPII research center.
    4. Giorgio Barba Navaretti & Lionel Fontagné & Gianluca Orefice & Giovanni Pica & Anna Rosso, 2019. "TBTs, Firm Organization and Labour Structure- The effect of Technical Barriers to Trade on Skills," Working Papers hal-02296142, HAL.
    5. Terhi Maczulskij, 2019. "Occupational Mobility of Routine Workers," Working Papers 327, Palkansaajien tutkimuslaitos, Labour Institute for Economic Research.
    6. Giorgio Barba Navaretti & Lionel Fontagné & Gianluca Orefice & Giovanni Pica & Anna Cecilia Rosso, 2019. "TBTs, Firm Organization and Labour Structure," Working Papers 2019-14, CEPII research center.
    7. Pekkala Kerr, Sari & Maczulskij, Terhi & Maliranta, Mika, 2016. "Within and Between Firm Trends in Job Polarization: Role of Globalization and Technology," ETLA Working Papers 41, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    8. Crowley, Meredith & Meng, Ning & Song, Huasheng, 2018. "Tariff scares: Trade policy uncertainty and foreign market entry by Chinese firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 96-115.
    9. Pauline Charnoz & Michael Orand, 2017. "Technical change and automation of routine tasks: Evidence from local labour markets in France, 1999‑2011," Economie et Statistique / Economics and Statistics, Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques (INSEE), issue 497-498, pages 103-122.
    10. Gueyon Kim & Dohyeon Lee, 2020. "Offshoring and Segregation by Skill: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 2020-073, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    11. Egger, Peter H. & Kaynak, Pinar & Zoller-Rydzek, Benedikt, 2020. "Indirect effects of trade shocks on Turkish local labor markets," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(C).
    12. Andrea Salvatori, 2018. "The anatomy of job polarisation in the UK," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 52(1), pages 1-15, December.
    13. Keller, Wolfgang & Utar, Hale, 2018. "Globalization, Gender, and the Family," CEPR Discussion Papers 13317, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Jacob Rubak Holm & Bram Timmermans & Christian Richter Ostergaard, 2017. "The impact of multinational R&D spending firms on job polarization and mobility," JRC Working Papers JRC108560, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    15. Martina Magli, 2020. "The Direct and Indirect Effect of Services Offshoring on Local Labour Market Outcomes," CESifo Working Paper Series 8413, CESifo.
    16. Dix-Carneiro, Rafael & Kovak, Brian K., 2019. "Margins of labor market adjustment to trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 125-142.
    17. Davidson, Carl & Heyman, Fredrik & Matusz, Steven & Sjöholm, Fredrik & Zhu, Susan Chun, 2020. "Globalization, Recruitments and Job Mobility," Working Papers 2020:20, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    18. Nicola Grassano & Alexander Coad & Jacob Holm & Christian Ostergaard & Bram Timmermans & Antonio Vezzani, 2018. "R&D Intensive Corporations and the Job Market: The Danish Case," JRC Working Papers JRC112709, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    19. Huber, Katrin & Winkler, Erwin, 2019. "All you need is love? Trade shocks, inequality, and risk sharing between partners," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 305-335.
    20. Charles M. Beach, 2016. "Changing income inequality: A distributional paradigm for Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 49(4), pages 1229-1292, November.
    21. Holm, Jacob Rubæk & Lorenz, Edward & Nielsen, Peter, 2020. "Work organization and job polarization," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(8).
    22. Brussevich, Masha, 2018. "Does trade liberalization narrow the gender wage gap? The role of sectoral mobility," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 305-333.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. David H. Autor & David Dorn & Gordon H. Hanson, 2016. "The China Shock: Learning from Labor-Market Adjustment to Large Changes in Trade," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 8(1), pages 205-240, October.
    2. Aleksandra Parteka & Joanna Wolszczak-Derlacz, 2020. "Wage response to global production links: evidence for workers from 28 European countries (2005–2014)," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 156(4), pages 769-801, November.
    3. Aleksandra Parteka & Joanna Wolszczak-Derlacz, 0. "Wage response to global production links: evidence for workers from 28 European countries (2005–2014)," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 0, pages 1-33.
    4. Cortes, Guido Matias & Salvatori, Andrea, 2019. "Delving into the demand side: Changes in workplace specialization and job polarization," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 164-176.
    5. Nina Pavcnik, 2017. "The Impact of Trade on Inequality in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 23878, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Andreas Beerli & Ronald Indergand, 2014. "Which Factors Drive the Skill-Mix of Migrants in the Long-Run?," Diskussionsschriften dp1501, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
    7. Yuan Zi, 2016. "Trade Liberalization and the Great Labor Reallocation," IHEID Working Papers 18-2016, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
    8. Li, Bingjing, 2018. "Export expansion, skill acquisition and industry specialization: evidence from china," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 346-361.
    9. Blanchard, Emily & Willmann, Gerald, 2016. "Trade, education, and the shrinking middle class," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 263-278.
    10. Goldberg, Pinelopi & Pavcnik, Nina, 2016. "The Effects of Trade Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 11104, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. James Harrigan & Ariell Reshef & Farid Toubal, 2016. "The March of the Techies: Technology, Trade, and Job Polarization in France, 1994-2007," Working Papers 2016-15, CEPII research center.
    12. Egger, Hartmut & Fischer, Christian, 2020. "Increasing resistance to globalization: The role of trade in tasks," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 126(C).
    13. Jaeger, David A & Ruist, Joakim & Stuhler, Jan, 2018. "Shift-Share Instruments and the Impact of Immigration," CEPR Discussion Papers 12701, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Winkler, Erwin, 2020. "Diverging paths: Labor reallocation, sorting, and wage inequality," VfS Annual Conference 2020 (Virtual Conference): Gender Economics 224535, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    15. Cabral, Sónia & Martins, Pedro S. & Pereira dos Santos, João & Tavares, Mariana, 2018. "Collateral Damage? Labour Market Effects of Competing with China – at Home and Abroad," IZA Discussion Papers 11790, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. Aleksandra Parteka & Joanna Wolszczak-Derlacz, 2017. "Workers, Firms and Task Heterogeneity in International Trade Analysis: An Example of Wage Effects of Trade Within GVC," Entrepreneurial Business and Economics Review, Centre for Strategic and International Entrepreneurship at the Cracow University of Economics., vol. 5(2), pages 9-25.
    17. Yi Che & Yi Lu & Justin R. Pierce & Peter K. Schott & Zhigang Tao, 2016. "Does Trade Liberalization with China Influence U.S. Elections?," NBER Working Papers 22178, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Teresa C. Fort & Justin R. Pierce & Peter K. Schott, 2018. "New Perspectives on the Decline of US Manufacturing Employment," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 32(2), pages 47-72, Spring.
    19. Mau, Karsten, 2017. "US policy spillover(?) – China’s accession to the WTO and rising exports to the EU," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 169-188.
    20. De Lyon, Josh & Pessoa, Joao Paulo, 2020. "Worker and Firm Responses to Trade Shocks: The UK-China Case," SocArXiv 3ws94, Center for Open Science.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    import competition; inequality; vocational training;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5978. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Klaus Wohlrabe). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cesifde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.