Protectionist Pressures, Imports, and Employment in the United States
This paper assesses the theoretical and empirical basis for American labor union leaders' contention that imports have been a big source of job loss in the United States. It is shown, first, that identification of job losses "due to imports" is exceptionally difficult because economic growth affects adversely the industries believed affected by imports. Then, an accounting framework is employed to assess possible empirical orders of magnitude. The results are fairly conclusive in indicating that factors other than import competition have been primary in leading to structural shifts in employment.