Are Routine Jobs Moving South? Evidence from Changes in the Occupational Structure of Employment in the U.S. And Mexico
61 Pages Posted: 16 Oct 2021 Last revised: 7 Dec 2021
Employment in middle-wage jobs has declined in the United States over recent decades. One potential explanation for this decline is that these jobs have been relocated to developing countries such as Mexico. We explore the evidence for the primacy of this type of argument by contrasting the observed changes in employment across 175 detailed occupational categories in the U.S. and Mexico. We find that, with few exceptions, occupations that decline in the U.S. have also declined in Mexico, including in industries where trade flows have intensified. The evidence is consistent with common shocks being the dominant force behind the decline of middle-wage jobs in both countries.
Keywords: Occupational employment structure, routine employment, automation, trade, offshoring, Mexico
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