NBER Working Papers by Avraham Ebenstein

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Working Papers

July 2011Chemical Fertilizer and Migration in China
with Jian Zhang, Margaret S. McMillan, Kevin Chen: w17245
This paper examines a possible connection between China’s massive rural to urban migration and high chemical fertilizer use rates during the late 1980s and 1990s. Using panel data on villages in rural China (1987-2002), we find that labor out-migration and fertilizer use per hectare are positively correlated. Using 2SLS, employing the opening of a Special Economic Zone in a nearby city as an instrument, we find that village fertilizer use is linked to contemporaneous short-term out-migration of farm workers. We also examine the long-term environmental consequences of chemical fertilizer use during this period. Using OLS, we find that fertilizer use intensity is correlated with future fertilizer use rates and diminished effectiveness of fertilizer, demonstrating persistency in use patterns,...
June 2009Why are American Workers getting Poorer? Estimating the Impact of Trade and Offshoring Using the CPS
with Ann Harrison, Margaret McMillan, Shannon Phillips: w15107
Previous studies typically find small or insignificant effects of globalization on US workers. We argue that much of the impact on wages has been missed because globalization has led workers to move from higher paid manufacturing jobs to lower paid service jobs. To show this, we link industry-level data on trade and offshoring with individual-level worker data from the Current Population Surveys. Previous research focused on industry-level exposure to globalization, which we show has no significant impact on worker wages. Our new measure of occupational exposure to globalization shows significant effects of globalization on wages. Offshoring to low wage countries is associated with wage declines for US workers, and the workers most affected are those performing routine tasks. Import compet...

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