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Trade Shocks and the Shifting Landscape of U.S. Manufacturing

Author

Listed:
  • Katherine Eriksson
  • Katheryn Russ
  • Jay C. Shambaugh
  • Minfei Xu

Abstract

Using data over more than a century, we show that shifts in the location of manufacturing industries are a domestic reflection of what the international trade literature refers to as the product cycle in a cross-country context, with industries spawning in high-wage areas with larger pools of educated workers and moving to lower-wage areas with less education as they age or become “standardized.” We exploit the China shock industries as a set of industries that were in the late-stage product cycle by 1990 and show how the activity in those industries shifted from high-innovation areas to low-education areas over the 20th century. The analysis also suggests that the resilience of local labor markets to manufacturing shocks depends on local industries’ phase in the product cycle, on local education levels, and on local manufacturing wages. The risk of unemployment and detachment from the labor force rises most when a shock hits in areas where an industry already has begun phasing out, wages are high, or education levels are low. The results are consistent with the belief that there are long-term, secular trends in U.S. industrial structure driving the movement of industries, which shocks may mitigate or accelerate.

Suggested Citation

  • Katherine Eriksson & Katheryn Russ & Jay C. Shambaugh & Minfei Xu, 2019. "Trade Shocks and the Shifting Landscape of U.S. Manufacturing," NBER Working Papers 25646, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:25646
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kirill Borusyak & Peter Hull & Xavier Jaravel, 2018. "Quasi-Experimental Shift-Share Research Designs," Papers 1806.01221, arXiv.org, revised Dec 2020.
    2. Teresa C. Fort & Justin R. Pierce & Peter K. Schott, 2018. "New Perspectives on the Decline of US Manufacturing Employment," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 32(2), pages 47-72, Spring.
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    4. Adão, Rodrigo & Kolesár, Michal & Morales, Eduardo, 2018. "Shift-Share Designs: Theory and Inference," CEPR Discussion Papers 13118, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. 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.
    6. Arthur F. Burns, 1934. "Production Trends in the United States Since 1870," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number burn34-1, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stefano Federico & Fadi Hassan & Veronica Rappoport, 2020. "Trade shocks and credit reallocation," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1289, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    2. Nicholas Crafts & Alexander Klein, 2019. "The Rise and Fall of US Manufacturing: Re-Examination of Long-Run Spatial Trends," Studies in Economics 1910, School of Economics, University of Kent.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies

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