David Autor, David Dorn, and Gordon Hanson: Untangling Trade and Technology: Evidence from Local Labor Markets
David Autor, David Dorn, and Gordon Hanson: Untangling Trade and Technology: Evidence from Local Labor Markets:
Labor markets whose initial industry composition exposes them to rising Chinese import competition experience significant falls in employment…. Labor markets susceptible to computerization due to specialization in routine task-intensive activities experience significant occupational polarization… but no net employment decline. Trade impacts rise in the 2000s as imports accelerate, while the effect of technology appears to shift from automation of production activities in manufacturing towards computerization of information-processing tasks in nonmanufacturing…. Local labor markets with greater exposure to trade competition experience differential declines in manufacturing employment, with corresponding growth in unemployment and non-employment. The employment decline is not limited to production jobs but instead affects all major occupation groups. Employment losses are particularly large among workers without college education…. The effect of trade competition on the manufacturing sector has become stronger over time, while the effect of technological change on employment composition in the manufacturing sector has subsided. Conversely, the impact of technology on the non-manufacturing sector is growing as technological change seems to be shifting from automation of production in manufacturing to computerization of information processing in knowledge-intensive industries.