Current legislation seeks to label China a “currency manipulator” due to its allegedly unfair trade practices. The coincidence of increased Sino-US trade flows with domestic job loss in manufacturing fuels a great deal of the growing anti-China sentiment in the US. Proponents of the Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act attribute America’s long-experienced decline in manufacturing employment to competition from rising Chinese imports, therefore advocating protectionist measures. This thesis examines the validity of such claims, suggesting the possible significance of technologically-induced productivity gains rather than increased trade liberalization. Employing an ordinary least squares regression model, this study tests for the determinants of manufacturing job-loss between 1983 and 2005. Results of this study indicate the significance not only of increased imports from China, but from the entirety of the US’s low-wage trading partners. However, negligible significance is attributed to enhanced productivity during this period.
Imports from China have grown over 1,156% since 2001. Increasing imports have partially caused the US export and manufacturing job decline. This study uses an ARDL model to deduce if trading with China contributes to the widening US income gap, as well as the discrepancy between Black and white unemployment rates. A second model utilizes commuting zone-based trade and technology exposure data from Autor, Dorn, and Hanson (2015) to evaluate the effects of trade and technology exposure, college education, gender, and CZs African American population on manufacturing job loss. The key addition to previous models is the racial factor. Results indicate that international trade disproportionally impacts unskilled laborers, affirming findings from prior economic studies. This study also found international trade disproportionally contributes to Black unemployment in comparison to white unemployment.
This paper examines the exchange of recovered paper in the context of determining the main forces that drive countries to import recovered paper. The theories tested to determine the relevant forces are comparative advantage, new trade theory, and pollution haven effects. Data is collected for 59 countries, and five different regressions are preformed to test model on complete dataset and portions segmented by income and geographic region. It is determined that the import of recovered paper is based upon new trade theory as well as comparative advantage, with little differences between the five regressions. Additionally, no pollution haven effects are observed.
Since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was enacted in 1994, the amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow in Mexico has increased significantly. After 20 years since NAFTA’s inception, this paper examines how FDI flows into Mexico compare to total factor productivity (TFP) for the 1960-2013 period. Results show there is a statistically significant unexplained portion of TFP positively affecting FDI. Factors used to determine TFP include total imports, total exports, and unemployment rate from 1980-2013. Results conclude that there are implications regarding international trade policy of the negative effects on FDI as they pertain to Mexico before and after the inauguration of NAFTA.