DP10677 Import Competition and the Great U.S. Employment Sag of the 2000s

Author(s): Daron Acemoglu, David Autor, David Dorn, Gordon Hanson, Brendan Price
Publication Date: June 2015
Keyword(s): labor demand, trade flows
JEL(s): F16, J21
Programme Areas: Labour Economics, International Trade and Regional Economics
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=10677

Even before the Great Recession, U.S. employment growth was unimpressive. Between 2000 and 2007, the economy gave back the considerable employment gains achieved during the 1990s, with a historic contraction in manufacturing employment being a prime contributor to the slump. We estimate that import competition from China, which surged after 2000, was a major force behind both recent reductions in U.S. manufacturing employment and-through input-output linkages and other general equilibrium channels-weak overall U.S. job growth. Our central estimates suggest job losses from rising Chinese import competition over 1999 through 2011 in the range of 2.0 to 2.4 million.