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Multinationals, Offshoring and the Decline of U.S. Manufacturing

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  • Christoph E. Boehm
  • Aaron Flaaen
  • Nitya Pandalai-Nayar

Abstract

We provide new facts about the role of multinationals in the decline in U.S. manufacturing employment between 1993-2011, using a novel microdata panel with firm-level ownership and trade information. Multinational-owned establishments displayed lower employment growth than a narrow control group and accounted for 41% of the aggregate manufacturing employment decline. Further, newly multinational establishments in the U.S. experienced job losses, while their parent firms increased input imports from abroad. We develop a model that rationalizes this behavior and bound a key elasticity with our microdata. The estimates imply that a reduction in the costs of foreign sourcing leads firms to increase imports of intermediates and to reduce U.S. manufacturing employment. Our findings suggest that offshoring by multinationals was a key driver of the observed decline in manufacturing employment.

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  • Christoph E. Boehm & Aaron Flaaen & Nitya Pandalai-Nayar, 2019. "Multinationals, Offshoring and the Decline of U.S. Manufacturing," NBER Working Papers 25824, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:25824
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    Cited by:

    1. Adam Hal Spencer, 2022. "Policy Effects of International Taxation on Firm Dynamics and Capital Structure [Foreign investment of us multinationals: The effect of tax policy and agency conflicts]," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 89(4), pages 2149-2200.
    2. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2018. "Global Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 56(2), pages 565-619, June.
    3. Gumpert, Anna & Li, Haishi & Moxnes, Andreas & Ramondo, Natalia & Tintelnot, Felix, 2020. "The life-cycle dynamics of exporters and multinational firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C).
    4. Ufuk Akcigit & Sina Ates, 2019. "What Happened to the U.S. Business Dynamism?," 2019 Meeting Papers 150, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. ADACHI Daisuke & SAITO Yukiko, 2020. "Multinational Production and Labor Share," Discussion papers 20012, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    6. Andrew B. Bernard & Teresa C. Fort & Valerie Smeets & Frederic Warzynski, 2020. "Heterogeneous Globalization: Offshoring and Reorganization," NBER Working Papers 26854, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Ufuk Akcigit & Sina T. Ates, 2021. "Ten Facts on Declining Business Dynamism and Lessons from Endogenous Growth Theory," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 257-298, January.
    8. Campbell, Douglas L., 2020. "Relative Prices and Hysteresis: Evidence from US Manufacturing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 129(C).
    9. Nicolas Vincent & Matthias Kehrig, 2017. "Growing Productivity without Growing Wages: The Micro-Level Anatomy of the Aggregate Labor Share Decline," 2017 Meeting Papers 739, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. Davide Furceri & Prakash Loungani & Jonathan D. Ostry, 2019. "The Aggregate and Distributional Effects of Financial Globalization: Evidence from Macro and Sectoral Data," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 51(S1), pages 163-198, December.
    11. Blaum, Joaquin & Lelarge, Claire & Peters, Michael, 2019. "Firm size, quality bias and import demand," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 59-83.
    12. Douglas L. Campbell & Karsten Mau, 2019. "Trade Induced Technological Change: Did Chinese Competition Increase Innovation in Europe?," Working Papers w0252, New Economic School (NES).
    13. Muendler, Marc-Andreas, 2017. "Trade, technology, and prosperity: An account of evidence from a labor-market perspective," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2017-15, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    14. Alessandro Bellocchi & Giovanni Marin & Giuseppe Travaglini, 2021. "The Great Fall of Labor Share:Micro Determinants for EU Countries Over 2011-2019," Working Papers 2102, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Department of Economics, Society & Politics - Scientific Committee - L. Stefanini & G. Travaglini, revised 2021.
    15. Peter Schott & Justin Pierce & Georg Schaur & Sebastian Heise, 2017. "Trade Policy Uncertainty and the Structure of Supply Chains," 2017 Meeting Papers 788, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
    • F6 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization

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