IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/11311.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

International Trade and Job Polarization: Evidence at the Worker-Level

Author

Listed:
  • Keller, Wolfgang
  • Utar, Hale

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

  • Keller, Wolfgang & Utar, Hale, 2016. "International Trade and Job Polarization: Evidence at the Worker-Level," CEPR Discussion Papers 11311, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11311
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=11311
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Graetz, Georg & Michaels, Guy, 2015. "Robots at Work," CEPR Discussion Papers 10477, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. 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.
    5. Rafael Dix-Carneiro & Brian K. Kovak, 2015. "Trade Reform and Regional Dynamics: Evidence From 25 Years of Brazilian Matched Employer-Employee Data," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 15-225, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Rafael Dix-Carneiro & Brian K. Kovak, 2015. "Trade Reform and Regional Dynamics: Evidence From 25 Years of Brazilian Matched Employer-Employee Data," NBER Working Papers 20908, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. Hale Utar, 2016. "Workers Beneath the Floodgates: Low-Wage Import Competition and Workers' Adjustment," CESifo Working Paper Series 6224, CESifo Group Munich.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    17. 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.
    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. 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.
    2. 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).
    3. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    import competition; inequality; occupational change; vocational education;

    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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:cpr:ceprdp:11311. 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: (). General contact details of provider: .

    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.