Imports, Exports, and the American Worker

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Will technological improvement and growth in the rest of the world cause a decline in American living standards? Can government policy in Japan and Western Europe limit the availability of high- wage jobs in America? Does expanding trade with Mexico and other developing countries with large numbers of inexpensive workers imply a continuing decline in wages for low-skilled American workers?

These questions express a widespread concern about potential negative effects of import competition on domestic labor markets, but ignore potential gains to U.S. workers from exports abroad. Through U.S. exports, the rest of the world is an increasingly large indirect employer of U.S. workers, and through imports, foreign labor is an increasingly important potential substitute for U.S. workers. Bringing together the often diverse perspectives of international economists, labor economists, and policymakers, this volume analyzes how international trade affects the level and distribution of wages and employment in the United States, examines the need for government intervention, and evaluates policy options.

In addition to the editor, the contributors are Jagdish Bhagwati, Columbia University and American Enterprise Institute; J. Bradford De Long, U.S. Department of the Treasury and University of California, Berkeley; I. M. Destler, University of Maryland and Institute for International Economics; Richard B. Freeman, Harvard University and London School of Economics; Louis Jacobson, WESTAT; Lori G. Kletzer, University of California, Santa Cruz; Edward Leamer, University of California, Los Angeles; Michael Piore, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Ana Revenga and Claudio Montenegro, The World Bank; Jeffrey D. Sachs and Howard Shatz, Harvard University.

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Editorial Reviews

Contains 10 revised papers, formal comments, and summaries of discussions from a February 1995 conference. While four papers provide alternative assessments of the extent to which globalization can explain recent US labor market developments, most of the analyses focus on the impact of trade and immigration on the decline in wages of less-educated American workers since the late 1970s. Papers compare two approaches to assessing the evidence--the Heckscher-Ohlin approach, and the factor-content approach. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780815715191
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 557
  • Lexile: 1520L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.47 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan M. Collins is a senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution and a professor of economics at Georgetown University. Her publications focus on various dimensions of economic policy and performance for developing countries.

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Table of Contents

1 Economic Integration and the American Worker: An Overview 3
2 Trade and Wages: A Malign Relationship? 49
Comment 77
Comment 83
3 Will Globalization Dominate U.S. Labor Market Outcomes? 101
Comment 131
Comment 134
4 In Search of Stolper-Samuelson Linkages between International Trade and Lower Wages 141
Comment 203
Comment 206
5 International Trade and Wage Inequality in the United States: Some New Results 215
Comment 241
Comment 245
6 Trade and the Social Structure of Economic Activity 257
Comment 287
Comment 291
7 North American Integration and Factor Price Equalization: Is There Evidence of Wage Convergence between Mexico and the United States? 305
Comment 334
Comment 339
8 Trade Policy and America's Standard of Living: A Historical Perspective 349
Comment 376
Comment 380
9 Trade Politics and Labor Issues: 1953-95 389
Comment 408
Comment 412
10 International Trade and Job Displacement in U.S. Manufacturing: 1979-91 423
Comment 457
Comment 460
11 Compensation Programs 473
Comment 524
Comment 529
Conference Participants 539
Index 541
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