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Trade Sensitivity, Technology, and Labor Displacement

  • John T. Addison
  • Douglas A. Fox
  • Christopher J. Ruhm

We study the relationship between international trade, technology, and the probability and consequences of job displacement, using data on displaced workers as well as those at risk of job dislocation for 1984-86 and 1989-91. Workers employed in industries with elevated import shares and high levels of investment in computers appear to have increased rates of job loss, with the results for export penetration varying on the time period examined. These risks do not, however, translate into unfavorable postdisplacement labor market outcomes. Indeed, there is some evidence that individuals displaced from export-oriented sectors have fewer adjustment problems than the generality of dislocated workers, while those terminated from sectors investing heavily in computer technologies are more likely to retain health insurance coverage. That being said, our findings are frequently sensitive to the choice of specifications and time periods.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w5621.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5621.

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Date of creation: Jun 1996
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Southern Economic Journal, Vol. 66, no. 3 (January 2000): 682-699.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5621
Note: LS ITI
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  2. Gary Burtless, 1995. "International Trade and the Rise in Earnings Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(2), pages 800-816, June.
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  5. Berman, Eli & Bound, John & Griliches, Zvi, 1994. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U.S. Manufacturing: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufactures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 367-97, May.
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  10. Krugman, Paul R., 2000. "Technology, trade and factor prices," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 51-71, February.
  11. Barry T. Hirsch & David A. MacPherson, 1993. "Union membership and coverage files from the Current Population Surveys: Note," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(3), pages 574-578, April.
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  13. J. David Richardson, 1995. "Income Inequality and Trade: How to Think, What to Conclude," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 33-55, Summer.
  14. Borjas, George J & Ramey, Valerie A, 1994. "Time-Series Evidence on the," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 10-16, May.
  15. Edward E. Leamer, 1994. "Trade, Wages and Revolving Door Ideas," NBER Working Papers 4716, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Topel, Robert, 1993. "What Have We Learned from Empirical Studies of Unemployment and Turnover?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 110-15, May.
  17. Lawrence F. Katz & Gary W. Loveman & David G. Blanchflower, 1993. "A Comparison of Changes in the Structure of Wages," NBER Working Papers 4297, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1991. "Industrial Wage and Employment Determination in an Open Economy," NBER Chapters, in: Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market, pages 235-259 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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