NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Investment Responses to Trade Liberalization: Evidence from U.S. Industries and Plants

Justin R. Pierce, Peter K. Schott

NBER Working Paper No. 24071
Issued in November 2017
NBER Program(s):International Finance and Macroeconomics, International Trade and Investment

This paper examines the effect of a change in U.S. trade policy on the domestic investment of U.S. manufacturers. Using a difference-in-differences identification strategy, we find that industries more exposed to reductions in import tariff uncertainty exhibit relative declines in investment after the change in trade policy. Within industries, we find that this relationship is concentrated among establishments with low initial levels of labor productivity, capital intensity and skill intensity. Plants with high initial levels of skill intensity, by contrast, exhibit relative increases in investment with exposure. We also find evidence that establishments' investment activity is smoother following the policy change.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w24071

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