David Dorn

Research Fellow

University of Zurich

Network Program areas

David Dorn holds the Chair of International Trade and Labor Markets at the University of Zurich. He has previously been an Associate Professor at CEMFI Madrid, a Visiting Professor at Harvard University and a Visiting Scholar at Boston University, MIT and the University of Chicago. He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of St. Gallen.

His current research studies the labor market impacts of trade and technology, and patterns of economic geography.

David joined IZA as a Research Affiliate in October 2008 and became a Research Fellow in December 2011.



IZA Discussion Paper No. 10756

The fall of labor's share of GDP in the United States and many other countries in recent decades is well documented but its causes remain uncertain. Existing empirical assessments of trends in labor's share typically have relied on industry or macro data, obscuring heterogeneity among firms. In this paper, we...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10539
published in: American Economic Review, Papers & Proceedings, 2017, 107(5), 180-185

The recent fall of labor's share of GDP in numerous countries is well-documented, but its causes are poorly understood. We sketch a "superstar firm" model where industries are increasingly characterized by "winner take most" competition, leading a small number of highly profitable (and low labor share) firms to command growing...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9748
published in: Annual Review of Economics, 2016, 8, 205-240

China's emergence as a great economic power has induced an epochal shift in patterns of world trade. Simultaneously, it has challenged much of the received empirical wisdom about how labor markets adjust to trade shocks. Alongside the heralded consumer benefits of expanded trade are substantial adjustment costs and distributional consequences....

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9068
published in: Journal of Labor Economics, 2016, 34 (S1), S141-S198

Even before the Great Recession, U.S. employment growth was unimpressive. Between 2000 and 2007, the economy gave back the considerable employment gains achieved during the 1990s, with a historic contraction in manufacturing employment being a prime contributor to the slump. We estimate that import competition from China, which surged after...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8514
published in: Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2014, 129 (4), 1799-1860

We analyze the effect of exposure to international trade on earnings and employment of U.S. workers from 1992 through 2007 by exploiting industry shocks to import competition stemming from China's spectacular rise as a manufacturing exporter paired with longitudinal data on individual earnings by employer spanning close to two decades....

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7906
published in: American Economic Review, Papers & Proceedings, 2014, 104 (5), 394-399

An increasingly influential "technological-discontinuity" paradigm suggests that IT-induced technological changes are rapidly raising productivity while making workers redundant. This paper explores the evidence for this view among the IT-using U.S. manufacturing industries. There is some limited support for more rapid productivity growth in IT-intensive industries depending on the exact measures,...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7329
published in: Economic Journal, 2015, 125(584), 621–646

We juxtapose the effects of trade and technology on employment in U.S. local labor markets between 1990 and 2007. Labor markets whose initial industry composition exposes them to rising Chinese import competition experience significant falls in employment, particularly in manufacturing and among non-college workers. Labor markets susceptible to computerization due...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7326
published in: American Economic Review, Papers & Proceedings, 2013, 103 (3), 220-225

This paper explores the geographic overlap of trade and technology shocks across local labor markets in the United States. Regional exposure to technological change, as measured by specialization in routine task-intensive production and clerical occupations, is largely uncorrelated with regional exposure to trade competition from China. While the impacts of...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7150
published in: American Economic Review, 2013, 103 (6), 2121-68

We analyze the effect of rising Chinese import competition between 1990 and 2007 on U.S. local labor markets, exploiting cross-market variation in import exposure stemming from initial differences in industry specialization and instrumenting for U.S. imports using changes in Chinese imports by other high-income countries. Rising imports cause higher unemployment,...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7068
published in: American Economic Review, 2013, 103 (5), 1553-1597

We offer an integrated explanation and empirical analysis of the polarization of U.S. employment and wages between 1980 and 2005, and the concurrent growth of low skill service occupations. We attribute polarization to the interaction between consumer preferences, which favor variety over specialization, and the falling cost of automating routine,...