IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Are U.S. Multinationals Exporting U.S. Jobs?


  • S. Lael Brainard
  • David A. Riker


Many allege multinationals are exporting' U.S. jobs when they expand operations abroad. This paper investigates the extent to which expansion of offshore production by U.S. multinationals reduces labor demand at home and at other offshore locations, using a panel on U.S. multinationals and their foreign affiliates between 1983 and 1992. The results suggest that foreign affiliate employment substitutes modestly at the margins for U.S. parent employment. There is much stronger substitution between workers at affiliates in alternative low wage locations. In contrast, activities performed by affiliates at locations with different workforce skill levels in the same region appear to be complements. The results suggest a vertical division of activities among countries with different workforce skill levels, where workers in developing countries compete with each other to perform the activities most sensitive to labor costs. When wages in developing countries, such as Mexico, fall 10 percent, U.S. parent employment falls 0.17 percent, while affiliates in other developing countries, such as Malaysia, lay off 1.6 percent of their workforce.

Suggested Citation

  • S. Lael Brainard & David A. Riker, 1997. "Are U.S. Multinationals Exporting U.S. Jobs?," NBER Working Papers 5958, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5958
    Note: ITI

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David M. Cutler & Mark McClellan, 1996. "The Determinants of Technological Change in Heart Attack Treatment," NBER Working Papers 5751, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Lichtenberg, Frank R. & Pushner, George M., 1994. "Ownership structure and corporate performance in Japan," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 239-261, October.
    3. Cutler, David M, 1995. "The Incidence of Adverse Medical Outcomes under Prospective Payment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(1), pages 29-50, January.
    4. Joseph P. Newhouse, 1992. "Medical Care Costs: How Much Welfare Loss?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 3-21, Summer.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5958. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.