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Cheap imports and the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs

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  • Cooke, Abigail
  • Kemeny, Thomas
  • Rigby, David

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Cooke, Abigail & Kemeny, Thomas & Rigby, David, 2013. "Cheap imports and the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 57869, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:57869
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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/57869/
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    Cited by:

    1. Kamal, Fariha & Lovely, Mary E., 2017. "Import competition from and offshoring to low-income countries: Implications for employment and wages at U.S. domestic manufacturers," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 100-119.
    2. Gagliardi, Luisa & Iammarino, Simona & Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés, 2015. "Offshoring and the Geography of Jobs in Great Britain," CEPR Discussion Papers 10855, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. David L. Rigby & Thomas Kemeny & Abigail Cooke, 2017. "Plant exit and U.S. imports from low-wage countries," International Economics, CEPII research center, issue 149, pages 27-40.
    4. Tempesti, Tommaso, 2015. "Fringe Benefits and Import Competition," MPRA Paper 69842, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    international trade; import competition; job loss; inequality; manufacturing;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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