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Cheap Imports and the Loss of U.S. Manufacturing Jobs

Abigail  Cooke,  Thomas  Kemeny,  David  Rigby,  November 2013
Paper No' SERCDP0148: | Full paper (pdf)
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Keywords: International trade, import competition, job loss, inequality, manufacturing

JEL Classification: F14; F15; F16; F6; J31

Is hard copy/paper copy available? YES - Paper Copy Still In Print.
This Paper is published under the following series: SERC Discussion Papers
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Abstract:

This paper examines the role of international trade, and specifically imports from low-wage countries, in determining patterns of job loss in U.S. manufacturing industries between 1992 and 2007. Motivated by intuitions from factor-proportions-inspired work on offshoring and heterogeneous firms in trade, we build industry-level measures of import competition. Combining worker data from the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics dataset, detailed establishment information from the Census of Manufactures, and transaction-level trade data, we find that rising import competition from China and other developing economies increases the likelihood of job loss among manufacturing workers with less than a high school degree; it is not significantly related to job losses for workers with at least a college degree.