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Trade and Manufacturing Jobs in Germany


  • Dauth, Wolfgang

    () (University of Würzburg)

  • Findeisen, Sebastian

    () (University of Mannheim)

  • Suedekum, Jens

    () (Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf)


The German economy exhibits rising service and declining manufacturing employment. But this decline is much sharper in import-competing than in export-oriented branches. We first document the individual-level job transitions behind those trends. They are not driven by manufacturing workers who smoothly switch to services. The observed shifts are entirely due to young entrants and returnees from non-employment. We then investigate if rising trade with China and Eastern Europe causally affected those labor flows. Exploiting variation across industries and regions, we find that globalization did not speed up the manufacturing decline in Germany. It even retained those jobs in the economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Dauth, Wolfgang & Findeisen, Sebastian & Suedekum, Jens, 2017. "Trade and Manufacturing Jobs in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 10469, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10469

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    References listed on IDEAS

    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. Dani Rodrik, 2016. "Premature deindustrialization," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 1-33, March.
    3. Martin Neil Baily & Barry P. Bosworth, 2014. "US Manufacturing: Understanding Its Past and Its Potential Future," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(1), pages 3-26, Winter.
    4. Christian Dustmann & Bernd Fitzenberger & Uta Sch?nberg & Alexandra Spitz-Oener, 2014. "From Sick Man of Europe to Economic Superstar: Germany's Resurgent Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(1), pages 167-188, Winter.
    5. Justin R. Pierce & Peter K. Schott, 2016. "The Surprisingly Swift Decline of US Manufacturing Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(7), pages 1632-1662, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dauth, Wolfgang & Findeisen, Sebastian & S�dekum, Jens & Woessner, Nicole, 2017. "German Robots - The Impact of Industrial Robots on Workers," CEPR Discussion Papers 12306, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Goeddeke, Anna & Haucap, Justus & Herr, Annika & Wey, Christian, 2017. "Flexibility in wage setting under the threat of relocation," DICE Discussion Papers 269, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    3. Bonnet, Céline & Schain, Jan Philip, 2017. "An empirical analysis of mergers: Efficiency gains and impact on consumer prices," DICE Discussion Papers 244, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    4. Wim Naudé & Paula Nagler, 2018. "Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Productivity in Germany, 1871-2015," SPRU Working Paper Series 2018-02, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.

    More about this item


    trade; structural transformation; manufacturing; labor markets;

    JEL classification:

    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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