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Export Expansion and Investment in Children’s Human Capital: Evidence from the U.S.-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement


  • Brian McCaig
  • Minh Nguyen
  • Robert Kaestner


We examine how export expansion induced by the U.S-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA) affected migration, school enrollment, work and healthcare use of young children and adolescents in Vietnam. To do so, we exploit variation in tariff reductions across industries associated with the BTA and differences in industry employment shares across Vietnamese provinces prior to the policy change. We find that the BTA led to migration to the most affected provinces, particularly by adolescents (15 to 18) and young adults (19 to 29). The BTA also increased household expenditures, slightly decreased employment among nonmigrant adults and increased employment among migrant adults. Among adolescents, enrolment increased among non-migrants, but fell among migrants, with the opposite pattern for working. For children (7 to 14), enrolment did not change among non-migrants, but fell for migrants, who typically moved with their family. Conditional on being enrolled, education expenditures increased for both children and adolescents. We find evidence that healthcare utilization decreased for both children and adolescents.

Suggested Citation

  • Brian McCaig & Minh Nguyen & Robert Kaestner, 2022. "Export Expansion and Investment in Children’s Human Capital: Evidence from the U.S.-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement," NBER Working Papers 29830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:29830
    Note: CH DEV ITI LS

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    Cited by:

    1. Mitra, Devashish & Pham, Hoang & Ural Marchand, Beyza, 2022. "Enhanced Intergenerational Occupational Mobility through Trade Expansion: Evidence from Vietnam," Working Papers 2022-9, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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