Investment abroad and labour adjustment at home: evidence from UK multinational firms
Canadian Journal of Economics, 45(2), pp.698-731
This paper provides new evidence on the effects of overseas FDI on the skill-mix of multinational firms’ home-country operations. The analysis exploits China's WTO accession to identify the impact of outward investment into a low-wage economy and uses plant-level data to investigate changes in industrial structure within firms driven by plant closures. As predicted by models of vertical FDI, the paper demonstrates that overseas investment in low-wage economies is associated with asymmetric effects on workers in low- and high-skill industries in the home economy and, in particular, with firms closing down plants in low-skill industries.