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

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Cortes, Guido Matias and Morris, Diego M., Are Routine Jobs Moving South? Evidence from Changes in the Occupational Structure of Employment in the U.S. And Mexico. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3943875

Guido Matias Cortes (Contact Author)

York University ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

Diego M. Morris

Nottingham Trent University ( email )

Burton Street
Nottingham NG1 4BU, NG1 4LN
United Kingdom

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