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Economic Insecurity and the Globalization of Production

  • Kenneth Scheve
  • Matthew Slaughter
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    A common claim in debates about globalization is that economic integration increases worker insecurity. Although this idea is central to both political and academic debates about international economic integration, the theoretical basis of the claim is often not clear. There is also no empirical research that has directly tested the relationship. In this paper, we argue that economic insecurity among workers may be related to riskier employment and/or wage outcomes, and that foreign direct investment may be a key factor contributing to this increased risk by making labor demands more elastic. We present new empirical evidence, based on the analysis of panel data from Great Britain collected from 1991-1999, that FDI activity in the industries in which individuals work is positively correlated with individual perceptions of economic insecurity. This relationship holds in yearly cross-sections, in a panel accounting for individual-specific effects, and in a dynamic panel model also accounting for individual-specific effects.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w9339.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9339.

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    Date of creation: Nov 2002
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    Publication status: published as Scheve, Kenneth F. and Matthew Slaughter. “Economic Insecurity and the Globalization of Production." American Journal of Political Science 48, 4 (2004).
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9339
    Note: ITI
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    1. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
    2. J. Bradford Jensen & Andrew B Bernard, 2002. "The Deaths of Manufacturing Plants," Working Papers 02-15, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    3. Aitken, Brian & Harrison, Ann & Lipsey, Robert E., 1996. "Wages and foreign ownership A comparative study of Mexico, Venezuela, and the United States," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-4), pages 345-371, May.
    4. Holger G�rg & Eric Strobl, 2003. ""Footloose" Multinationals?," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 71(1), pages 1-19, January.
    5. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1995. "Foreign Direct Investment and Relative Wages: Evidence from Mexico's Maquiladoras," NBER Working Papers 5122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Steven Globerman & John C. Ries & Ilan Vertinsky, 1994. "The Economic Performance of Foreign Affiliates in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 27(1), pages 143-56, February.
    7. Gardner, Jonathan & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "What Has Been Happening to the Quality of Workers’ Lives in Britain?," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 617, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    8. Peter Gottschalk & Robert Moffitt, 1994. "The Growth of Earnings Instability in the U.S. Labor Market," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(2), pages 217-272.
    9. Mark E. Doms & J . Bradford Jensen, 1998. "Comparing Wages, Skills, and Productivity between Domestically and Foreign-Owned Manufacturing Establishments in the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Geography and Ownership as Bases for Economic Accounting, pages 235-258 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Michael D. Bordo & Barry Eichengreen & Douglas A. Irwin, 1999. "Is Globalization Today Really Different than Globalization a Hunderd Years Ago?," NBER Working Papers 7195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Burgoon, Brian, 2001. "Globalization and Welfare Compensation: Disentangling the Ties that Bind," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(03), pages 509-551, June.
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