IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Workers' Views of the Impact of Trade on Jobs


  • Brown, Clair

    () (University of California, Berkeley)

  • Lane, Julia

    () (New York University)

  • Sturgeon, Timothy

    () (MIT)


Although public policy is influenced by the perception that workers worry about the impact of trade on their jobs, there is little empirical evidence on what shapes such views. This paper uses new data to examine how workers’ perceptions of the impact of trade are related to their career paths, job characteristics, and local labor market conditions. Surprisingly, given prior literature, we find that workers’ perceptions primarily reflect local labor market conditions and education rather than labor market experiences or job characteristics.

Suggested Citation

  • Brown, Clair & Lane, Julia & Sturgeon, Timothy, 2010. "Workers' Views of the Impact of Trade on Jobs," IZA Discussion Papers 5368, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5368

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hainmueller, Jens & Hiscox, Michael J., 2006. "Learning to Love Globalization: Education and Individual Attitudes Toward International Trade," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(02), pages 469-498, April.
    2. Harrison, Ann & McMillan, Margaret S. & Null, Clair, 2006. "US multinational activity abroad and US jobs: substitutes or complements?," MPRA Paper 36277, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Avraham Ebenstein & Ann Harrison & Margaret McMillan & Shannon Phillips, 2014. "Estimating the Impact of Trade and Offshoring on American Workers using the Current Population Surveys," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(4), pages 581-595, October.
    4. Mayda, Anna Maria & Rodrik, Dani, 2005. "Why are some people (and countries) more protectionist than others?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1393-1430, August.
    5. John J. Abowd & John Haltiwanger & Julia Lane, 2004. "Integrated Longitudinal Employer-Employee Data for the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 224-229, May.
    6. Desireé van Welsum & Xavier Reif, 2009. "We Can Work It Out: The Globalization of ICT-Enabled Services," NBER Chapters,in: International Trade in Services and Intangibles in the Era of Globalization, pages 289-325 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. John M. Abowd & Patrick Corbel & Francis Kramarz, 1999. "The Entry And Exit Of Workers And The Growth Of Employment: An Analysis Of French Establishments," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 170-187, May.
    8. Abowd, John M. & Vilhuber, Lars, 2011. "National estimates of gross employment and job flows from the Quarterly Workforce Indicators with demographic and industry detail," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 161(1), pages 82-99, March.
    9. Ralph E. Gomory & William J. Baumol, 2001. "Global Trade and Conflicting National Interests," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262072092, January.
    10. 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.
    11. Melvin Stephens, 2004. "Job Loss Expectations, Realizations, and Household Consumption Behavior," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 253-269, February.
    12. Kevin O'Rourke, 2003. "Heckscher-Ohlin Theory and Individual Attitudes Towards Globalization," NBER Working Papers 9872, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Brown, Clair & Haltiwanger, John & Lane, Julia, 2006. "Economic Turbulence," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 0, number 9780226076324, March.
    14. Dani Rodrik, 1997. "Has Globalization Gone Too Far?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 57.
    15. Bardhan, Ashok Deo & Kroll, Cynthia, 2003. "The New Wave of Outsourcing," Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics, Research Reports qt02f8z392, Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics, UC Berkeley.
    16. Kenneth F. Scheve & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2001. "Globalization and the Perceptions of American Workers," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 109.
    17. Michael Hoffman, 2009. "What explains attitudes across US trade policies?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 138(3), pages 447-460, March.
    18. Daniel Aaronson & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1998. "The decline of job security in the 1990s: displacement, anxiety, and their effect on wage growth," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q I, pages 17-43.
    19. Richard G. Anderson & Charles S. Gascon, 2007. "The perils of globalization: offshoring and economic insecurity of the American worker," Working Papers 2007-004, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    globalization; trade; job characteristics; local labor markets; job loss; job security;

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:iza:izadps:dp5368. 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: (Mark Fallak). 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.