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The effects of import competition on worker health

Thomas McManus and Georg Schaur
Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Matthew Lang ()

Journal of International Economics, 2016, vol. 102, issue C, 160-172

Abstract: Occupational health is an important determinant of workers' welfare. Existing mechanisms and evidence from the international trade and occupational safety literatures combine to predict that import competition impacts work place injuries, especially at small firms that are most affected by foreign imports. We examine this prediction with novel data on injuries at US manufacturers using Chinese import growth in 1996–2007 as a shock to competition. The data show that injury rates in the competing US industries increase over the short to medium run, particularly at smaller establishments. Back-of-the-envelope calculations show that injury risk increases by 13% at the smallest establishments, the equivalent of a 1% to 2% reduction in workers' wages.

Keywords: Import competition; Safety; Injuries; Trade liberalization (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F16 F66 J81 J32 L60 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jinteco.2016.06.003

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