Assistant Professor of Economics Andrew Greenland examined the U.S. internal migration response to increased import competition following the granting of Permanent Normal Trade Relations to China in 2001.
Andrew Greenland, assistant professor of economics in the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business, co-authored the paper, “Import Competition and Internal Migration,” which appears in the March 2019 issue of The Review of Economics and Statistics.
China’s entry to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001 triggered a massive export boom, affecting labor markets differently across the U.S. Locations which had historically specialized in goods that China would export abundantly (the darker red areas on the map implies higher competition with Chinese goods), experienced large and enduring increases in unemployment, declines in wages, deteriorating health conditions, and increases in mortality risk. Despite these high costs, studies repeatedly found that workers did not migrate to less impacted locations in order to seek out better economic opportunity. This surprising fact implied that displaced workers were likely to experience substantial, long-term costs associated with globalization.
In contrast to prior studies, Greenland and his co-authors, John Lopresti and Peter McHenry – both faculty at the College of William & Mary, document a robust migratory response to the changing labor market conditions that accompanied China’s entrance to the WTO. By employing data from the Census, IRS, and Department of Education the authors found that both the young and less educated workers left highly exposed labor markets and sought out better economic opportunity elsewhere.
The Review of Economics and Statistics is a 100-year-old general journal of applied economics. Edited at the Harvard Kennedy School, the Review has published some of the most important articles in empirical economics. Its impact measures include: #5 in Social Sciences, Mathematical Methods, Impact Factor 3.510 (2017 Journal Citation Reports); #6 in Economics (2018 Google Scholar Metrics); #2 in Social Sciences (Miscellaneous); 7.088 SJR (SCImago, 2017); and A* in Economics (Australian Business Deans Council, 2016 Journal Quality List).
Greenland joined Elon’s faculty after receiving his doctorate from Purdue University in 2013. His current research projects focus on the consequences of trade and globalization for the U.S. economy.