April 2013

IZA DP No. 7326: The Geography of Trade and Technology Shocks in the United States

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 technology are present throughout the United States, the impacts of trade tend to be more geographically concentrated, owing in part to the spatial agglomeration of labor-intensive manufacturing. Our findings suggest that it should be possible to separately identify the impacts of recent changes in trade and technology on U.S. regional economies.