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Offshoring of white-collar jobs in the United States and gendered outcomes

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  • Ebru Kongar
  • Mark Price
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    Abstract

    Purpose – Since the mid-1990s, offshore production has become increasingly important in white-collar, service sector activities in the US economy. This development coincided with a stagnant gender wage gap in the service sector and a slowdown in the narrowing of the overall US gender wage gap over this period. This paper aims to categorize white-collar service sector occupations into two groups based on whether an occupation is at risk of being offshored and to assess the relative contribution of these two groupings, through their employment and wages, to the trends in the gender wage gap within the service sector and the US economy between 1995 and 2005. Design/methodology/approach – Standard occupational decomposition methods are applied to Current Population Survey and Displaced Workers Survey data. Findings – The findings show that in occupations at risk of being offshored, low-wage women's employment declined, leading to an artificial increase in the average wage of the remaining women thereby narrowing the gender wage gap. This improvement in the gender wage gap was offset by the relative growth of high-wage male employment in at-risk occupations and the widening of the gender wage gap within not-at-risk occupations. Originality/value – These findings contribute to the growing literature on the causes of the stagnation of the US gender wage gap in the 1990s.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Manpower.

    Volume (Year): 31 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 8 (November)
    Pages: 888-907

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:31:y:2010:i:8:p:888-907

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    1. Bardhan, Ashok Deo & Kroll, Cynthia, 2003. "The New Wave of Outsourcing," Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics, Research Reports qt02f8z392, Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics, UC Berkeley.
    2. Gunseli Berik, 2000. "Mature Export-Led Growth and Gender Wage Inequality in Taiwan," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(3), pages 1-26.
    3. Jagdish Bhagwati & Arvind Panagariya & T. N. Srinivasan, 2004. "The Muddles over Outsourcing," International Trade 0408004, EconWPA.
    4. Sandra E. Black & Elizabeth Brainerd, 2002. "Importing Equality? The Impact of Globalization on Gender Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 9110, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Runjuan Liu & Daniel Trefler, 2008. "Much Ado About Nothing: American Jobs and the Rise of Service Outsourcing to China and India," NBER Working Papers 14061, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Kucera, David & Milberg, William, 2000. "Gender Segregation and Gender Bias in Manufacturing Trade Expansion: Revisiting the "Wood Asymmetry"," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(7), pages 1191-1210, July.
    7. Joseph E. Zveglich Jr. & Yana van der Meulen Rodgers, 2004. "Occupational Segregation and the Gender Wage Gap in a Dynamic East Asian Economy," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 850-875, April.
    8. William J. Carrington & Kristin McCue & Brooks Pierce, 1996. "Black/white wage convergence: The role of public sector wages and employment," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 49(3), pages 456-471, April.
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