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Survival of the Best Fit: Exposure to Low-Wage Countries and the (Uneven) Growth of US Manufacturing Plants

Author

Listed:
  • Andrew B. Bernard

    (Dartmouth College - Tuck School of Business)

  • J. Bradford Jensen

    (Peterson Institute for International Economics)

  • Peter K. Schott

    (Yale University, Yale School of Management)

Abstract

We examine the relationship between import competition from low wage countries and the reallocation of US manufacturing from 1977 to 1997. Both employment and output growth are slower for plants that face higher levels of low wage import competition in their industry. As a result, US manufacturing is reallocated over time towards industries that are more capital and skill intensive. Differential growth is driven by a combination of increased plant failure rates and slower growth of surviving plants. Within industries, low wage import competition has the strongest effects on the least capital and skill intensive plants. Surviving plants that switch industries move into more capital and skill intensive sectors when they face low wage competition.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter K. Schott, 2003. "Survival of the Best Fit: Exposure to Low-Wage Countries and the (Uneven) Growth of US Manufacturing Plants," Working Paper Series WP03-3, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:iie:wpaper:wp03-3
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Heckscher-Ohlin; International Trade; Import Competition; Manufacturing Employment; Manufacturing Output;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General

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