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Collateral Damage? Labour Market Effects of Competing with China – at Home and Abroad

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  • Cabral, Sónia
  • Martins, Pedro S.
  • Pereira dos Santos, João
  • Tavares, Mariana

Abstract

The increasing range and quality of China’s exports is a major development internationally with potentially far-reaching effects. In this paper, on top of the direct labour market effects of imports from China studied in previous research, we also measure the indirect effects stemming from increased export competition in third markets. Our findings, based on matched employeremployee data of Portugal covering the 1991-2008 period, indicate that workers’ earnings and employment are significantly negatively affected by China’s competition, but only through the indirect ’market-stealing’ channel. In contrast to earlier evidence, the direct effects of Chinese imports are mostly non-significant. The results are robust to a number of checks and also highlight particular groups more affected by indirect competition, including women, older and less educated workers, and workers in larger, older and domestic firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Cabral, Sónia & Martins, Pedro S. & Pereira dos Santos, João & Tavares, Mariana, 2020. "Collateral Damage? Labour Market Effects of Competing with China – at Home and Abroad," GLO Discussion Paper Series 645, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:645
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    Cited by:

    1. Katharina van Treeck & Konstantin M. Wacker, 2020. "Financial globalisation and the labour share in developing countries: The type of capital matters," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(9), pages 2343-2374, September.
    2. Wenjing Duan & Pedro S. Martins, 2018. "Rent sharing in China: Magnitude, heterogeneity and drivers," Working Papers 96, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
    3. Silvia Fabiani & Alberto Felettigh & Claire Giordano & Roberto Torrini, 2019. "Making room for new competitors. A comparative perspective on Italy’s exports in the euro-area market," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 530, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    4. Xuefeng Qian & Kalsoom Rafique & Yingna Wu, 2020. "Flying with the Dragon: Estimating Developing Countries’ Gains from China's Imports," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 28(5), pages 1-25, September.
    5. Pedro S. Martins, 2018. "Making their own weather? Estimating employer labour-market power and its wage effects," Working Papers 95, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
    6. Lee Branstetter & Ana Venancio & Brian Kovak, 2019. "The China Shock and Portuguese Manufacturing," 2019 Meeting Papers 1051, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    International trade; Labour market; Matched employer-employee data; China; Import competition;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • F66 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Labor
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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