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Global Imbalances and Structural Change in the United States

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  • Timothy J. Kehoe
  • Kim J. Ruhl
  • Joseph B. Steinberg

Abstract

Since the early 1990s, as the United States borrowed heavily from the rest of the world, employment in the U.S. goods-producing sector has fallen. We construct a dynamic general equilibrium model with several mechanisms that could generate declining goods-sector employment: foreign borrowing, nonhomothetic preferences, and differential productivity growth across sectors. We find that only 15.1 percent of the decline in goods-sector employment from 1992 to 2012 stems from U.S. trade deficits; most of the decline is due to differential productivity growth. As the United States repays its debt, its trade balance will reverse, but goods-sector employment will continue to fall.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy J. Kehoe & Kim J. Ruhl & Joseph B. Steinberg, 2013. "Global Imbalances and Structural Change in the United States," NBER Working Papers 19339, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19339
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    Cited by:

    1. Díaz, Antonia & Franjo, Luis, 2016. "Capital goods, measured TFP and growth: The case of Spain," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 19-39.
    2. Joseph Steinberg, 2018. "International Portfolio Diversification and the Structure of Global Production," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 29, pages 195-219, July.
    3. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Brent Neiman & John Romalis, 2016. "Trade and the Global Recession," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(11), pages 3401-3438, November.
    4. Ravikumar, B. & Santacreu, Ana Maria & Sposi, Michael J., 2017. "Capital Accumulation and Dynamic Gains from Trade," Working Papers 2017-5, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    5. Ricardo Reyes-Heroles, 2017. "The Role of Trade Costs in the Surge of Trade Imbalances," 2017 Meeting Papers 212, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Jacek Rothert & Jacob Short, 2014. "Non-Traded Goods and Capital Flows to Developing Countries," Departmental Working Papers 47, United States Naval Academy Department of Economics.
    7. Sebastian Sotelo & Javier Cravino, 2016. "Trade-Induced Structural Change and the Skill Premium," 2016 Meeting Papers 1690, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Robert Z. Lawrence & Lawrence Edwards, 2013. "US Employment Deindustrialization: Insights from History and the International Experience," Policy Briefs PB13-27, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    9. Douglas L. Campbell, 2013. "Relative Prices, Hysteresis, and the Decline of American Manufacturing," 2013 Papers pca584, Job Market Papers.
    10. repec:pal:imfecr:v:65:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1057_s41308-017-0036-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Eddy Bekkers & Michael Landesmann & Indre Macskasi, 2017. "Trade in Services versus Trade in Manufactures: The Relation between the Role of Tacit Knowledge, the Scope for Catch up, and Income Elasticity," wiiw Working Papers 139, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    12. Timothy J. Kehoe & Kim J. Ruhl & Joe Steinberg, 2013. "What will happen when foreigners stop lending to the United States?," Economic Policy Paper 13-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    13. Barattieri, Alessandro, 2014. "Comparative advantage, service trade, and global imbalances," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 1-13.
    14. Joseph Steinberg, 2017. "Brexit and the Macroeconomic Impact of Trade Policy Uncertainty," 2017 Meeting Papers 216, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    15. repec:eee:moneco:v:91:y:2017:i:c:p:1-18 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Peter A. Petri & Michael G. Plummer, 2016. "The Economic Effects of the Trans-Pacific Partnership: New Estimates," Working Paper Series WP16-2, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    17. Talan İşcan, 2015. "Windfall Resource Income, Productivity Growth, and Manufacturing Employment," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 279-311, April.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

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