How much does US-China trade hurt American workers? Slowly, a clearer picture.”

Christian Science Monitor; May 10, 2011

In a study pub­lished ear­li­er this year, three aca­d­e­m­ic econ­o­mists exam­ined the effects of ris­ing imports from China on the US job mar­ket since 1990. They sought what could be called the “China effect” by look­ing at local labor mar­kets, includ­ing some that were heav­i­ly affect­ed by Chinese imports and some that were less affect­ed.  What they found were siz­able neg­a­tive effects in the form of lost jobs, low­er wages, and low­er labor-force par­tic­i­pa­tion. Although the job loss­es were con­cen­trat­ed in fac­to­ries – account­ing for one-third of the decline in US man­u­fac­tur­ing jobs between 1990 and 2007 – the effects on wages spread through­out local economies, con­clud­ed researchers David Autor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, David Dorn of the Center for Monetary and Financial Studies in Madrid, and Gordon Hanson of the University of California in San Diego.”


By Mark Trumbull