Plant-level responses to antidumping duties: evidence from U.S. manufacturers
This paper describes the effects of a temporary increase in tariffs on the performance and behavior of U.S. manufacturers. Using a dataset that includes the full population of U.S. manufacturing plants, I show that an apparent positive correlation between antidumping duties and traditional revenue productivity is likely misleading. For the subset of plants reporting quantity-based output data, increases in prices and markups artificially inflate the effect of antidumping duties on revenue productivity, while physical productivity actually falls. Moreover, antidumping duties allow ...
Disentangling the Effects of the 2018-2019 Tariffs on a Globally Connected U.S. Manufacturing Sector
Since the beginning of 2018, the United States has undertaken unprecedented tariff increases, with one goal of these actions being to boost the manufacturing sector. In this paper, we estimate the effect of the tariffs---including retaliatory tariffs by U.S. trading partners---on manufacturing employment, output, and producer prices. A key feature of our analysis is accounting for the multiple ways that tariffs might affect the manufacturing sector, including providing protection for domestic industries, raising costs for imported inputs, and harming competitiveness in overseas markets due ...
Does Trade Liberalization with China Influence U.S. Elections?
This paper examines the impact of trade liberalization on U.S. Congressional elections. We find that U.S. counties subject to greater competition from China via a change in U.S. trade policy exhibit relative increases in turnout, the share of votes cast for Democrats and the probability that the county is represented by a Democrat. We find that these changes are consistent with Democrats in office being more likely than Republicans to support legislation limiting import competition or favoring economic assistance.
Bill of Lading Data in International Trade Research with an Application to the COVID-19 Pandemic
We evaluate high-frequency bill of lading data for its suitability in international trade research. These data offer many advantages over both other publicly accessible official trade data and confidential datasets, but they also have clear drawbacks. We provide a comprehensive overview for potential researchers to understand these strengths and weaknesses as these data become more widely available. Drawing on the strengths of the data, we analyze three aspects of trade during the COVID-19 pandemic. First, we show how the high-frequency data capture features of the within-month collapse ...
A concordance between ten-digit U.S. Harmonized System codes and SIC/NAICS product classes and industries
While the relationship between international trade and domestic economic activity is an important topic in economics, research in this area has been slowed due to data limitations. In this paper we provide tools that improve the existing data in two ways. First, we develop an algorithm that yields concordances between the ten-digit Harmonized System (HS) codes used to classify products in U.S. international trade and the SIC and NAICS industry codes used to classify domestic economic activity. These concordances then yield novel time series of industry-level international trade data for the ...
The Surprisingly Swift Decline of U.S. Manufacturing Employment
This paper finds a link between the sharp drop in U.S. manufacturing employment beginning in 2001 and a change in U.S. trade policy that eliminated potential tariff increases on Chinese imports. Industries where the threat of tariff hikes declines the most experience more severe employment losses along with larger increases in the value of imports from China and the number of firms engaged in China-U.S. trade. These results are robust to other potential explanations of the employment loss, and we show that the U.S. employment trends differ from those in the E.U., where there was no change in ...
Evidence for the Effects of Mergers on Market Power and Efficiency
Study of the impact of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) on productivity and market power has been complicated by the difficulty of separating these two effects. We use newly-developed techniques to separately estimate productivity and markups across a wide range of industries using detailed plant-level data. Employing a difference-in-differences framework, we find that M&As are associated with increases in average markups, but find little evidence for effects on plant-level productivity. We also examine whether M&As increase efficiency through reallocation of production to more efficient ...
Some Characteristics of the Decline in Manufacturing Capacity Utilization
In this note, we provide several observations regarding trends in manufacturing capacity utilization rates using data from the Federal Reserve Board and the Census Bureau. The note does not aim to consider all potential explanations for the decline in utilization rates, and indeed we do not find a single root cause of the decline. We do, however, attempt to narrow the scope of potential explanations and contribute contemporary data to the existing commentary.
Concording U.S. Harmonized System categories over time
Monitoring changes to product classification systems is an important component of a wide range of empirical research. In this paper we develop an algorithm for concording periodic revisions to the ten-digit Harmonized System (HS) codes used by U.S. statistical agencies to categorize international trade since 1989. We use this algorithm to construct the first comprehensive concordance of HS codes over time, and show how this concordance can be extended to incorporate future revisions. We then characterize the extent of HS-code changes since 1989 and discuss how controlling for these revisions ...
Are all trade policies created equal? empirical evidence for nonequivalent market power effects of tariffs and quotas
Over the past 50 years, the steel industry has been protected by a wide variety of trade policies, both tariff- and quota-based. We exploit this extensive heterogeneity in trade protection to examine the well-established theoretical literature predicting nonequivalent effects of tariffs and quotas on domestic firms' market power. Using plant-level Census Bureau data for steel plants from 1967-2002, we find evidence for significant market power effects for binding quota-based protection, but not tariff-based protection, particularly with respect to integrated and minimill steel producers. Our ...