Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Business and Economics



Committee Chair

Shuichiro Nishioka

Committee Co-Chair

Brian Cushing

Committee Member

Stratford Douglas

Committee Member

Eugene B Nyantakyi


This dissertation studies the effect of trade on wage dispersion, crime rates and alcohol consumption at the local labor market level in the the U.S. The first chapter develops a new measure for skill to investigate the effects of offshoring on wages of three types of workers: high-skilled, medium-skilled, and low-skilled. I also look at the effect of offshoring on wages of offshorable occupations. Although the previous literature emphasizes the impact of offshoring on the skill premium, I find that job characteristics such as offshorability is critical in explaining the wage effect. Chapter 2 analyzes the effects of increasing import exposure from the top 6 trading partners of the US (China, Canada, Mexico, Germany, Japan and Korea) on property and violent crimes for the period 1992--2006 at the commuting zone level. My results indicate that a {dollar}1000 increase in Chinese exposure increases the property crimes by about 3 percent. On the other hand, the same amount of increase in import exposure from three other developed country trading partners, Germany, Japan and Korea, reduces property crimes between 2 to 4 percent. I find no evidence on the change of violent crimes from any of the countries. The last chapter examines the effects of increasing import competition from China on alcohol consumption at the county level for the years 2002--2006. Recent literature has shown that increasing import competition from China worsens the labor market outcomes. Lower cumulative earnings and the fear of job loss may increase financial stress for workers who may resort to alcohol as a coping mechanism. I find that increasing import exposure from China increases both the prevalence of drinking and binge drinking among workers. The effect is more pronounced for men than women. Further, for men, binge drinking has a larger effect than prevalence of drinking, whereas for women, prevalence of drinking has a larger effect than binge drinking.