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Estimating US Consumer Gains from Chinese Imports

Liang Bai and Sebastian Stumpner

American Economic Review: Insights, 2019, vol. 1, issue 2, 209-24

Abstract: We estimate the size of US consumer gains from Chinese imports during 2004–2015. Using barcode-level price and expenditure data, we construct inflation rates under CES preferences, and use Chinese exports to Europe as an instrument. We find significant negative effects of Chinese imports on US prices. This effect is driven by both changes in the prices of existing goods and the entry of new goods, and it is similar across consumer groups by income or region. A simple benchmarking exercise suggests that Chinese imports led to a 0.19 percentage point annual reduction in the price index for consumer tradables.

JEL-codes: E21 E31 F14 P33 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aeri.20180358
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