NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

US Exports and Employment

Robert C. Feenstra, Hong Ma, Yuan Xu

NBER Working Paper No. 24056
Issued in November 2017
NBER Program(s):International Trade and Investment

We examine the employment responses to import competition from China and to global export expansion from the United States, both of which have been expanding strongly during the past decades. We find that although Chinese imports reduce jobs, at both the industry level and the local commuting zone level, the global export expansion of US products also creates a considerable number of jobs. On balance over the entire 1991-2007 period, job gains due to changes in US global exports were slightly less than job losses due to Chinese imports. Using data at both the industry level and the commuting zone level, we find a net loss of around 0.2-0.3 million jobs. When we extend the analysis to 1991-2011, we find the net job effect of import and export exposure is roughly balanced at the commuting zone level.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w24056

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