Events | Trade and Globalization

The China Syndrome: Local Labor Market Effects of Import Competition in the United States

Date: July 17, 2012

The Economic Policy Institute invites you to a forum discussing the impact trade with China has on jobs and wages for U.S. workers.


David Autor’s NBER paper, co-authored with David Dorn and Gordon H. Hanson, analyzes the effect of rising Chinese import competition between 1990 and 2007 on local U.S. labor markets.  The study finds that rising exposure to Chinese imports increases unemployment, lowers labor force participation, and reduces wages in local labor markets.  Conservatively, it explains one-quarter of the aggregate decline in U.S. manufacturing employment in this period (approximately 1 million jobs).  Transfer benefits payments for unemployment, disability, retirement and healthcare also rise sharply in exposed labor markets.


Featured Presenter:

David Autor

Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Faculty Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research


Gary Burtless

Senior Fellow-Economic Studies, The Brookings Institution

Thea Lee

Deputy Chief of Staff and Economist, AFL-CIO

Robert Scott

Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Research, Economic Policy Institute