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ISQOLS Webinar: Trade and Job (In)Security: The Two Sides of Import Exposure

  • 28 Jul 2021
  • 7:00 AM (PDT)
  • Online Webinar


  • The webinar is free for all participants.

Registration is closed


Trade and Job (In)Security: The Two Sides of Import Exposure


July 28

07:00 AM PST;

10:00 AM EST;

4:00pm/16:00 CET


We study the causal impact of occupation-level import exposure on perceived job security. To that end, we use German worker-level panel data combined with global input-output data for 2000-2014 and an instrumental variables strategy. We show that imports from China and Eastern Europe that substitute for domestic production (i.e., competition-increasing imports) worsen workers' job insecurity. Simultaneously, exposure to Chinese and Eastern European intermediate imports (i.e., productivity-enhancing imports) boosts job security. The productivity-enhancing channel more than offsets the job insecurity caused by competition-increasing imports, meanwhile. The job (in)security effects we document are homogeneous across workers with different unemployment experience, individual risk preferences, and occupational tenure. Nevertheless, effects are more pronounced among groups that are more likely to be informed about imports, such as supervisors and those with high education. Our results are robust to a battery of sensitivity checks and highlight that the implications of trade are more multifaceted than previously thought. Robin Konietzny is currently a PhD Candidate at the Department of Global Economics & Management at the University of Groningen, Netherlands. He holds a Research Master in Economics from the University of Groningen and a Double Degree Master in International Economics & Business from the University of Groningen and the University of Göttingen, Germany. His research focuses on workers' responses to trade integration and the implications of these for their well-being. Specifically, he is interested in capturing the features of global value chains and how these relate to individual employment circumstances.

The International Society for
Quality-of-Life Studies

P.O. Box 118
Gilbert, Arizona, 85299, USA


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