Chapter 2 of Social Dimensions of U.S. Trade Policies by Alan V. Deadorff and Robert M. Stern is titled “Foreigners and Robots: Assistants of Some, Competitors of Others.” This particular chapter is written by Edward Leamer and works to discuss the fact that during the past thirty years unskilled workers in both Europe and the United States are, and have been, in a period of stagnation, declining wages, and higher rates of unemployment (1998), raising concerns regarding skill based technological changes that have occurred as a result of changes and advancements in technology combined with the “economic liberalization” of the third world. These changes in technology and the economies of certain countries have resulted in an increase in the overall global supply in the level of unskilled workers that are present, and Leamer takes this into account, looking at the theory and evidence regarding these practices and how they affect international trade specifically.
Leamer looks at the wage differences around the globe and the relativity of those prices in order to determine the impact of these changes on the world’s labor market (1998). Leamer discusses too, the alternate ways in which international trade could matter and be affected, providing a theoretical model for the studies regarding the price of tradable goods and providing alternative options for investigation including the threat effects and contestability of trade in regards to these specific matters.
Leamer’s paper was a part of a conference titled by the same name as the book, held April 17-18, 1998, produced later as a separate article in 2000. It served to address the role of interest groups in United States trade policies, and provided an opportunity to address the pertinent issues regarding the social aspects of the international trade policies themselves.
- Leamer, E. (1998). Foreigners and robots: Assistants of some, competitors of others. Social Dimensions of U.S. Trade Policies