Magazine article Regional Economist

Reader Exchange

Magazine article Regional Economist

Reader Exchange

Article excerpt

ASK AN ECONOMIST

Maximiliano Dvorkin has been an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis since 2014. His research focuses on labor reallocation and the effect of different economic forces on the employment and occupational decisions of workers and on their well-being. In his spare time, he enjoys the outdoors, cooking and spending time with his family. For more of his research, see https://research.stlouisfed.org/econ/dvorkin.

Q: What is the impact of Chinese imports on U.S. jobs?

A: Although most economic models point to overall gains from trade, these gains are not distributed evenly across workers and regions. With that in mind, Lorenzo Caliendo, Fernando Parro and I studied the impact of the surge of imports from China between 2000 and 2007 on different U.S. labor markets.1 In particular, we examined how workers in different sectors, like manufacturing or services, and in different regions were affected.

Of the more than 3 million manufacturing jobs that were lost overall in the U.S. between 2000 and 2007, we found that about 800,000 manufacturing jobs were lost because of the increased Chinese competition. Most of these jobs were in the production of computer and electronic goods, primary and fabricated metal products, furniture and textiles.

As might be expected, larger states experienced larger losses in manufacturing jobs. After controlling for size, we found that states with a larger share of manufacturing employment (e.g., Ohio) experienced a larger than average loss, while the opposite was true for states with a smaller share of manufacturing employment (e. …

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