Trade Sensitivity, Technology, and Labor Displacement

33 Pages Posted: 3 May 1998  

John T. Addison

University of South Carolina - Moore School of Business - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Douglas A. Fox

ERS Group

Christopher J. Ruhm

University of Virginia - Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: June 1996

Abstract

We study the relationship between international trade, technology, and the probability and consequences of job displacement, using data on displaced workers as well as those at risk of job dislocation for 1984-86 and 1989-91. Workers employed in industries with elevated import shares and high levels of investment in computers appear to have increased rates of job loss, with the results for export penetration varying on the time period examined. These risks do not, however, translate into unfavorable postdisplacement labor market outcomes. Indeed, there is some evidence that individuals displaced from export-oriented sectors have fewer adjustment problems than the generality of dislocated workers, while those terminated from sectors investing heavily in computer technologies are more likely to retain health insurance coverage. That being said, our findings are frequently sensitive to the choice of specifications and time periods.

Suggested Citation

Addison, John T. and Fox, Douglas A. and Ruhm, Christopher J., Trade Sensitivity, Technology, and Labor Displacement (June 1996). NBER Working Paper No. w5621. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3203

John T. Addison

University of South Carolina - Moore School of Business - Department of Economics ( email )

The Francis M. Hipp Building
1705 College Street
Columbia, SC 29208
United States
803-777-7400 (Phone)
803-777-6876 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://mooreschool.sc.edu/moore/economics/profiles/addison.htm

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Douglas A. Fox

ERS Group ( email )

4901 Tower Court
Tallahassee, FL 32303
United States

Christopher J. Ruhm (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy ( email )

235 McCormick Rd.
P.O. Box 400893
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4893
United States
434-924-7581 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://batten.virginia.edu/cruhm.html

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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