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The Surprisingly Swift Decline of U.S. Manufacturing Employment

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  • Justin R. Pierce
  • Peter K. Schott

Abstract

This paper finds a link between the sharp drop in U.S. manufacturing employment beginning in 2001 and a change in U.S. trade policy that eliminated potential tariff increases on Chinese imports. Industries where the threat of tariff hikes declines the most experience more severe employment losses along with larger increases in the value of imports from China and the number of firms engaged in China-U.S. trade. These results are robust to other potential explanations of the employment loss, and we show that the U.S. employment trends differ from those in the EU, where there was no change in policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Justin R. Pierce & Peter K. Schott, 2012. "The Surprisingly Swift Decline of U.S. Manufacturing Employment," NBER Working Papers 18655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18655
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Philippe Aghion & Jing Cai & Mathias Dewatripont & Luosha Du & Ann Harrison & Patrick Legros, 2015. "Industrial Policy and Competition," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 1-32, October.
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    3. Justin R. Pierce & Peter K. Schott, 2009. "A Concordance Between Ten-Digit U.S. Harmonized System Codes and SIC/NAICS Product Classes and Industries," NBER Working Papers 15548, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. 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.
    5. Scott R. Baker & Nicholas Bloom & Steven J. Davis, 2016. "Measuring Economic Policy Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(4), pages 1593-1636.
    6. Sourafel Girma & Yundan Gong & Holger Görg & Zhihong Yu, 2009. "Can Production Subsidies Explain China's Export Performance? Evidence from Firm‐level Data," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 111(4), pages 863-891, December.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General

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