INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND THE COMPOSITION OF LABOR MARKET TURNOVER

Authors

  • NICHOLAS SLY

    1. Sly: Department of Economics, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-1285. Phone 541 346 4676, Fax 541 346 1243, E-mail sly@uoregon.edu
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    • This is a significantly revised version of a previous draft entitled “Labor Market Turnover, Firm Technology Choice and Trade Preferences.” My thanks to Carl Davidson, Steven Matusz, Larry Martin, and Jay Wilson for comments on early drafts. I also benefited from discussions with Jason Lindo, Mike Carlton, Glen Waddell and Bruce Blonigen and seminar participants at Michigan State University, the Midwest International Economics Group meetings, and Midwest Economics Association meetings.


Abstract

The composition of labor market turnover is shown to influence patterns of international trade. Job and worker turnover have opposing marginal effects on industry export intensity, highlighting the importance of relative turnover shares on either side of the labor market, as opposed to total volumes of labor mobility, in shaping economic outcomes. Industries with relatively greater shares of worker turnover export more of total production, and those with higher job turnover export less. Furthermore, relatively high job turnover hinders industry adjustment following trade liberalization. These predictions receive support for U.S. manufacturing industries using turnover data in the Quarterly Workforce Indicators available from the U.S. Census Bureau. (JEL F16)

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