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Multinationals, Offshoring and the Decline of U.S. Manufacturing

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  • Nitya Pandalai Nayar

    (University of Michigan)

  • Aaron Flaaen

    (Federal Reserve Board of Governors)

  • Christoph Boehm

    (University of Michigan)

Abstract

We provide three new stylized facts that characterize the role of multinationals in the U.S. manufacturing employment decline, using a novel microdata panel from 1993-2011 that augments U.S. Census data with firm ownership information and transaction-level trade. First, over this period, U.S. multinationals accounted for 41% of the aggregate manufacturing decline, disproportionate to their employment share in the sector. Second, U.S. multinational-owned establishments had lower employment growth rates than a narrowly-defined control group. Third, establishments that became part of a multinational experienced job losses, accompanied by increased foreign sourcing of intermediates by the parent firm. To establish whether imported intermediates are substitutes or complements for U.S. employment, we develop a model of input sourcing and show that the employment impact of foreign sourcing depends on a key elasticity -- of firm size to production efficiency. Structural estimation of this elasticity finds that imported intermediates substitute for U.S. employment. In general equilibrium, our estimates imply a sizable manufacturing employment decline of 13%.

Suggested Citation

  • Nitya Pandalai Nayar & Aaron Flaaen & Christoph Boehm, 2016. "Multinationals, Offshoring and the Decline of U.S. Manufacturing," 2016 Meeting Papers 584, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed016:584
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    2. Adam Hal Spencer, 2022. "Policy Effects of International Taxation on Firm Dynamics and Capital Structure [Foreign investment of us multinationals: The effect of tax policy and agency conflicts]," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 89(4), pages 2149-2200.
    3. Brian McCaig & Nina Pavcnik & Woan Foong Wong, 2022. "Foreign and Domestic Firms: Long Run Employment Effects of Export Opportunities," CESifo Working Paper Series 10168, CESifo.
    4. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2018. "Global Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 56(2), pages 565-619, June.
    5. Blaum, Joaquin & Lelarge, Claire & Peters, Michael, 2019. "Firm size, quality bias and import demand," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 59-83.
    6. Gumpert, Anna & Li, Haishi & Moxnes, Andreas & Ramondo, Natalia & Tintelnot, Felix, 2020. "The life-cycle dynamics of exporters and multinational firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C).
    7. Campbell, Douglas L., 2020. "Relative Prices and Hysteresis: Evidence from US Manufacturing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 129(C).
    8. Ufuk Akcigit & Sina T. Ates, 2023. "What Happened to US Business Dynamism?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 131(8), pages 2059-2124.
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    10. Alessandro Bellocchi & Giovanni Marin & Giuseppe Travaglini, 2021. "The Great Fall of Labor Share:Micro Determinants for EU Countries Over 2011-2019," Working Papers 2102, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Department of Economics, Society & Politics - Scientific Committee - L. Stefanini & G. Travaglini, revised 2021.
    11. Ufuk Akcigit & Sina T. Ates, 2021. "Ten Facts on Declining Business Dynamism and Lessons from Endogenous Growth Theory," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 257-298, January.
    12. ADACHI Daisuke & SAITO Yukiko, 2020. "Multinational Production and Labor Share," Discussion papers 20012, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    13. Bin Ni & Hayato Kato & Yang Liu, 2023. "Does it matter where you invest? The impact of foreign direct investments on domestic job creation and destruction," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(1), pages 135-152, January.
    14. Andrew B. Bernard & Teresa C. Fort & Valerie Smeets & Frederic Warzynski, 2020. "Heterogeneous Globalization: Offshoring and Reorganization," NBER Working Papers 26854, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Douglas L. Campbell & Karsten Mau, 2019. "Trade Induced Technological Change: Did Chinese Competition Increase Innovation in Europe?," Working Papers w0252, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
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    17. Alai Yeerken & Feng Deng, 2023. "Digital Service Trade and Labor Income Share—Empirical Research on 48 Countries," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 15(6), pages 1-19, March.
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    19. Konstantin Koerner & Mathilde Le Moigne, 2023. "FDI and onshore task composition: evidence from German firms with affiliates in the Czech Republic," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 57(1), pages 1-42, December.
    20. Muendler, Marc-Andreas, 2017. "Trade, technology, and prosperity: An account of evidence from a labor-market perspective," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2017-15, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    21. Peter Schott & Justin Pierce & Georg Schaur & Sebastian Heise, 2017. "Trade Policy Uncertainty and the Structure of Supply Chains," 2017 Meeting Papers 788, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business

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