Exports to Jobs : Morocco’s Trade Patterns and Local Labor Market Outcomes

World Bank, Washington DC, 6 November 2023

Morocco’s trade liberalization policies coincided with macroeconomic growth over the past two decades. The relationship between trade liberalization and individual-level labor market outcomes, however, are not well understood. By combining three complementary approaches and modeling techniques, this paper estimates (i) the relationship between trade agreements and trade flows, (ii) the relationship between trade exposure and various local labor market outcomes, and (iii) the relationship between firm employment and exports. The results show that tariffs have fallen and trade as a share of gross domestic product has increased.

Morocco’s trade agreements, however, are not always associated with higher trade flows. Furthermore, trade has led to mixed results for workers. Increased trade has decreased informality but may have adversely affected female labor force participation. Trade liberalization seems to have induced a shift from female labor-intensive industries, such as apparel, to capital-intensive sectors that are predominantly male-intensive. The firm-level analysis confirms these results by showing that increases in employment from exports has occurred mainly in male, capital-intensive sectors.

For the full 44 page report, visit: https://documents1.worldbank.org/curated/en/099816511062330271/pdf/IDU00b69230f03adb04b7608cd80f3e08b2ce869.pdf