In the last decades, there has been a growing interest among academia and policy makers on the impact of international trade on national employment. The studies about the impact of exports have found a positive effect on employment. Nevertheless, that impact would vary according to the kind of export, as trading manufactures create more jobs than the trade of primary products.
Argentine exports have increased considerably in the last decade, driven by the increased demand of food by Asia. This has reconfigured the characteristics of trade flows of the country, as traditional trade partners beyond Mercosur (Europe and the United States) lost ground against developing Asian countries.
The increase of exports to Asia generated important benefits to foodstuff producers and for the national government, who gets an important part of the sector's profitability through export taxes. The impact that this change had in Argentina's provinces, however, has not been properly studied. The objective of this study is to fill that gap, measuring the impact in private employment of the increased exports to Asia. To do that, regional data of employment and exports from 2003 to 2013 has been compiled and analyzed.
Certain patterns of agglomeration of private jobs are characteristic to Argentina: 73% of them can be found in the Pampas region, and the number jumps to 78% for the case of manufacturing jobs. The industrialist policies of the country in the last decade benefitted the Pampas region. Exports to South East Asia concentrate in a few primary products. Even though they had a positive effect on employment level in those sectors, that effect is not as strong as the one that can be found for manufacturing products. New and better policies that can help increase regional economies' added value are necessary in order to generate manufactured products that can be inserted in new and distant markets. This is a necessary step towards developing the private sector in poor provinces and balancing the concentration of economic activity in the Pampas regions.