NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Trade, Jobs, and Wages

Paul Krugman, Robert Lawrence

NBER Working Paper No. 4478
Issued in September 1993
NBER Program(s):   IFM   ITI

There is a broad consensus among US opinion leaders that our economic problem is largely one of failures of international competition -- that trade deficits have eroded our manufacturing base, that inability to sell on world markets has been a major drag on economic growth, and that imports from low-wage countries have caused a widening of income inequality. This paper summarizes recent evidence on these issues, and shows that while there may be a grain of truth to each complaint, in each case the effect is quantitatively minor. The arithmetic of 'competitiveness' just doesn't work.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w4478

Published: Krugman, Paul and Robert Lawrence. "Trade, Jobs, and Wages." Scientific America (April 1994).

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