Document Type

Honors Project - Open Access


Trade liberalization in 2000 opened up the door for increased trade between China and the US, favoring Chinese manufacturers. This period is often referred to as the "China shock" (Autor, 2013). This paper utilizes data collected from the MIT election lab, FRED, and David Dorn's published data to investigate the effect of the China import shock in the early 2000s on the most recent two US presidential elections. Our analysis, which employs commuting zone-level data, reveals that regions more adversely affected by the China shock were more likely to vote for the Republican Party, while regions that suffered less harm were more likely to vote for the Democratic Party. This research sheds light on the future trade and domestic policies aimed at protecting against economic downturns due to international trade. For instance, policymakers should consider the establishment of assistance and support programs for workers displaced by trade liberalization, such as the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program, Unemployment Insurance (UI), and other retraining and compensation policies(Autor et al., 2021). Such policies may influence voters' choices in future elections.



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