IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/5959.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

U.S. Multinationals and Competition from Low Wage Countries

Author

Listed:
  • David A. Riker
  • S. Lael Brainard

Abstract

It is often argued that the globalization of production places workers in industrialized countries in competition with their counterparts in low wage countries. We examine a firm-level panel of foreign manufacturing affiliates owned by U.S. multinationals between 1983 and 1992 and find evidence to the contrary. Affiliate activities in developing countries appear to be complementary to rather than substituting for affiliate activities in industrialized countries. Workers do compete across affiliates, but the competition is between affiliates in countries with similar workforce skill levels. The results suggest that multinationals with affiliates in countries at different stages of development decompose production across borders into complementary stages that differ by skill intensity. The implied complementarity of traded intermediate inputs has important implications for the empirical debate over trade, employment, and wages.

Suggested Citation

  • David A. Riker & S. Lael Brainard, 1997. "U.S. Multinationals and Competition from Low Wage Countries," NBER Working Papers 5959, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5959
    Note: ITI
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w5959.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert E. Lipsey & Irving Kravis, 1982. "Do Multinational Firms Adapt Factor Proportions to Relative Factor Prices?," NBER Chapters, in: Trade and Employment in Developing Countries, Volume 2: Factor Supply and Substitution, pages 215-256, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 1993. "International comparisons of educational attainment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 363-394, December.
    3. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1995. "Foreign Investment, Outsourcing and Relative Wages," NBER Working Papers 5121, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Markusen, James R, 1989. "Trade in Producer Services and in Other Specialized Intermediate Inputs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 85-95, March.
    5. Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Markusen, James R. & Rutherford, Thomas F., 1994. "Complementarity and increasing returns in intermediate inputs," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 101-119, October.
    6. Grossman, Gene M, 1982. "Import Competition from Developed and Developing Countries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(2), pages 271-281, May.
    7. Ana L. Revenga, 1992. "Exporting Jobs?The Impact of Import Competition on Employment and Wages in U. S. Manufacturing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 255-284.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. James R. Markusen & Thomas F. Rutherford & David Tarr, 2000. "Foreign Direct Investments in Services and the Domestic Market for Expertise," NBER Working Papers 7700, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Ann Harrison & Margaret McMillan, 2011. "Offshoring Jobs? Multinationals and U.S. Manufacturing Employment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 857-875, August.
    3. Jorge Saba Arbache, 2001. "Trade Liberalisation and Labor Markets in Developing Countries: Theory and Evidence," Studies in Economics 0112, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    4. Susan Chun Zhu & Daniel Trefler, 2001. "Ginis in General Equilibrium: Trade, Technology and Southern Inequality," NBER Working Papers 8446, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Michael C. Burda & Barbara Dluhosch, 2002. "Fragmentation, Globalisation and Labour Markets," International Economic Association Series, in: David Greenaway & Richard Upward & Katharine Wakelin (ed.), Trade, Investment, Migration and Labour Market Adjustment, chapter 4, pages 47-65, Palgrave Macmillan.
    6. Guy Michaels, 2008. "The Effect of Trade on the Demand for Skill: Evidence from the Interstate Highway System," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 683-701, November.
    7. Onaran, Özlem, 2008. "The effect of import penetration on labor market outcomes in Austrian manufacturing industry," Department of Economics Working Paper Series 119, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    8. Joseph F. Francois & Douglas Nelson, 2002. "A Geometry Of Specialisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(481), pages 649-678, July.
    9. Biscourp, Pierre & Kramarz, Francis, 2007. "Employment, skill structure and international trade: Firm-level evidence for France," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 22-51, May.
    10. Werner Antweiler & Daniel Trefler, 2002. "Increasing Returns and All That: A View from Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 93-119, March.
    11. Markusen, James R., 2005. "Modeling the Offshoring of White-Collar Services: From Comparative Advantage to the New Theories of Trade and FDI," CEPR Discussion Papers 5408, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. J Hatzius, 1997. "Domestic Jobs and Foreign Wages: Labour Demand in Swedish Multinationals," CEP Discussion Papers dp0337, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    13. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Nina Pavcnik, 2007. "Distributional Effects of Globalization in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(1), pages 39-82, March.
    14. Eric A. Verhoogen, 2008. "Trade, Quality Upgrading, and Wage Inequality in the Mexican Manufacturing Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 489-530.
    15. Daniel Trefler, 1997. "Immigrants and Natives in General Equilibrium Trade Models," NBER Working Papers 6209, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Mary E. Lovely & J. David Richardson, 2000. "Trade Flows and Wage Premiums: Does Who or What Matter?," NBER Chapters, in: The Impact of International Trade on Wages, pages 309-348, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Suryahadi, A. & Chen, P. & Tyers, R., 1999. "Openness, Technological Change and Labor Demand in Pre-Crisis Indonesia," Papers 377, Australian National University - Department of Economics.
    18. Tarr, David G., 2013. "Putting Services and Foreign Direct Investment with Endogenous Productivity Effects in Computable General Equilibrium Models," Handbook of Computable General Equilibrium Modeling, in: Peter B. Dixon & Dale Jorgenson (ed.), Handbook of Computable General Equilibrium Modeling, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 303-377, Elsevier.
    19. Hatzius, J., 1997. "Domestic jobs and foreign wages: labour demand in Swedish multinationals," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20350, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    20. Michael C. Burda & Barbara Dluhosch, 2002. "Cost Competition, Fragmentation, and Globalization," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(3), pages 424-441, August.

    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

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:5959. 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: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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.