Offshoring, Low-skilled Immigration, and Labor Market Polarization
During the last three decades, the U.S. labor market has been characterized by its employment polarization. As jobs in the middle of the skill distribution have shrunk, employment has expanded in high- and low-skill occupations. Real wages have not followed the same pattern. While earnings for high-skill occupations have risen robustly, wages for both low- and middle-skill workers have remained subdued. We attribute this outcome to the rise in offshoring and low-skilled immigration, and develop a three-country stochastic growth model to rationalize their asymmetric effect on employment and ...
Adjusting to Robots: Worker-Level Evidence
We estimate the effect of industrial robots on employment, wages, and the composition of jobs in German labor markets between 1994 and 2014. We find that the adoption of industrial robots had no effect on total employment in local labor markets specializing in industries with high robot usage. Robot adoption led to job losses in manufacturing that were offset by gains in the business service sector. We analyze the impact on individual workers and find that robot adoption has not increased the risk of displacement for incumbent manufacturing workers. They stay with their original employer, and ...
Offshoring in Developing Countries: Labor Market Outcomes, Welfare, and Policy
Does a reduction in offshoring cost benefit workers in the world's factories in developing countries? Using a parsimonious two-country model of offshoring we find very nuanced results. These include cases where wages monotonically improve, worsen, as well as where wages exhibit an inverted U-shaped relationship with the offshoring cost. We identify qualitative conditions under which these relationships hold. Since global welfare always rises with an improvement in offshoring technology, we find that there is a role for a wage tax or a minimum wage in the developing country. We derive the ...
Trade and Labor Market Dynamics: General Equilibrium Analysis of the China Trade Shock
We develop a dynamic trade model with spatially distinct labor markets facing varying exposure to international trade. The model captures the role of labor mobility frictions, goods mobility frictions, geographic factors, and input-output linkages in determining equilibrium allocations. We show how to solve the equilibrium of the model and take the model to the data without assuming that the economy is at a steady state and without estimating productivities, migration frictions, or trade costs, which can be difficult to identify. We calibrate the model to 22 sectors, 38 countries, and 50 U.S. ...
The Labor Market Effects of Offshoring by U.S. Multinational Firms: Evidence from Changes in Global Tax Policies
Estimating the causal effect of offshoring on domestic employment is difficult because of the inherent simultaneity of multinational firms? domestic and foreign affiliate employment decisions. In this paper, we resolve this identification problem using variation in Bilateral Tax Treaties (BTTs), which reduce the effective cost of offshore activity by mitigating double taxation. We derive a panel difference-in-differences research design from a standard model of multinational firms, demonstrating the simultaneity problem and showing how to resolve it using BTTs as an instrument for offshore ...
Trade Reforms, Foreign Competition, and Labor Market Adjustments in the U.S.
Using data on trade-induced displacements, this paper documents that locations facing more foreign competition in the U.S. have: higher job destruction rates, lower job creation rates, and thereby lower employment rates. In contrast to standard trade theory, a model with variable markups and heterogeneous segmented labor markets is consistent with these facts. Foreign competition has a correlated effect on job destruction and job creation precisely because the most vulnerable locations also have lower productivity. Following an unexpected trade liberalization with limited mobility, employment ...
Gains from Offshoring? Evidence from U.S. Microdata
We construct a new linked data set with over one thousand offshoring events by matching Trade Adjustment Assistance program petition data to confidential data on U.S. firm operations. We exploit these data to assess how offshoring affects domestic firm-level aggregate employment, output, wages and productivity. Consistent with heterogenous firm models where offshoring involves a fixed cost, we find that the average offshoring firm is larger and more productive than the average non-offshorer. After initiating offshoring, firms experience large declines in employment (46.2 per cent), output ...
Investment Responses to Trade Liberalization : Evidence from U.S. Industries and Establishments
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. For plants with high initial levels of skill intensity, we find that increased exposure is ...
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.
High-Skill Migration, Multinational Companies, and the Location of Economic Activity
This paper examines the relationship between high-skill immigration and multinational activity. I assemble a novel firm-level dataset on high-skill visa applications and show that there is a large home-bias effect. Foreign multinational enterprises (MNEs) in the US tend to hire more migrant workers from their home countries compared to US firms. To quantify the general equilibrium implications for production and welfare, I build and estimate a quantitative model that includes trade, MNE production, and the migration decisions of high-skill workers. I use an instrumental variables approach to ...