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The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy

Editor-in-Chief: Jürges, Hendrik / Ludwig, Sandra

Ed. by Auriol , Emmanuelle / Brunner, Johann / Fleck, Robert / Friebel, Guido / Mendola, Mariapia / Requate, Till / Tsui, Kevin / Wichardt, Philipp / Zulehner, Christine

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How Import Competition Affects Displaced Workers in the U.S.

Ivan T Kandilov1

1North Carolina State University at Raleigh,

Citation Information: The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy. Volume 10, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1935-1682, DOI: 10.2202/1935-1682.2048, June 2010

Publication History

Published Online:
2010-06-14

Abstract

I use the Displaced Worker Survey and bilateral trade data to assess the impact of import competition from low-wage countries on displaced workers' unemployment duration and re-employment wages. While low-wage imports have almost no effect on unemployment duration for workers displaced from an industry with the average length of the quality ladder, I find that a ten percentage point increase in low-wage imports leads to a 5.6 week longer jobless spell duration for workers displaced from an industry with a short quality ladder. Similarly, a ten percentage point increase in low-wage imports leads to a 7.2 percent decline in re-employment wages for workers displaced from an average ladder industry, but it leads to an 11.3 percent decline in re-employment wages for workers displaced from a short ladder industry. I show evidence that greater low-wage imports raise the likelihood of sectoral relocation upon re-employment, leading to loss of sector specific human capital.

Keywords: import competition; displaced workers; re-employment wages; unemployment duration

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