Deindustrialization? A Global Perspective
9 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2017
Date Written: September 2016
Recent studies show that, within countries, manufacturing labor productivity growth has outstripped aggregate labor productivity growth, putting significant downwards pressure on national manufacturing employment shares. We compile the first (nearly) global database of national manufacturing employment and output levels over time, and use it to document two facts seemingly at odds with these results: (1) the manufacturing sector’s share of global employment did not fall between 1970 and 2010; and (2) manufacturing and aggregate labor productivity at the global level grew at roughly the same rate. We show that this occurred because rapid within-country manufacturing productivity growth was counterbalanced by an equally rapid shift of manufacturing jobs towards lower productivity economies.
Keywords: deindustrialization; industrialization; globalization; manufacturing jobs; labor productivity; structural transformation
JEL Classification: O10, O14, L60
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation