Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

William Lincoln

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© 2020 Tobin J Hansen


The U.S.-China diplomatic relationship today is shaped significantly by economic factors. Recent strains of literature have expanded our understanding of how international economic policy choices have effected U.S. workers and labor markets. This paper extends this research by imposing bilateral symmetry in the trade flow calculations of previous works, which historically have considered U.S. exports globally. I build on the net-impact analysis of Feenstra, Ma, and Xu (2017b) and adopt the instrumental variable strategy used in Acemoglu et al. (2016), which uses Chinese trade flows with eight additional high-income countries to avoid endogeneity when comparing U.S.-China trade. From this analysis, I determine that between 1991 and 2011, a one percentage point increase in an industry’s exposure to Chinese imports led to a -1.32 percentage point decrease in employment within that industry. I also find that for the same period of time, a one percentage point increase in export exposure led to a 3.51 increase in employment for a given industry.