Mortality and trade with China

Pierce and Schott have updated their working paper on mortality and trade. Their conclusions from their earlier version (Nov. 2015) remain unaltered.

Their two concluding paragraphs:

We find that exposure to PNTR is associated with an increase in mortality due to suicide and related causes, particularly among whites. These results are consistent with that group’s relatively high employment in manufacturing, the sector most affected by the change in trade policy. We find that these results are robust to various extensions, including an alternate empirical specification that places no restrictions on the timing of the effects of the policy change as well including controls for changes in state health care policy ad exposure of other counties in the surrounding labour market.

While the results in this paper do not provide an assessment of the overall welfare impact of PNTR, they do offer a broader understanding of the distributional implications of trade liberalisation.

PNTR stands for Permanent Normal Trade Relations. America granted PNTR to China in October 2000 – towards the end of Bill Clinton Presidency.

The revised version can be found here.

While this paper focused on mortality, the outcome is a consequence of the rapid loss in manufacturing employment that US experienced after the granting of PNTR to China in the year 2000. The paper that examines the loss in manufacturing employment in the United States can be found here.


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