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We Can Work It Out: The Globalization of ICT-Enabled Services

In: International Trade in Services and Intangibles in the Era of Globalization

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  • Desireé van Welsum
  • Xavier Reif

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between the share of employment potentially affected by offshoring and economic and structural factors, including trade in business services and foreign direct investment (FDI), using simple descriptive regressions for a panel of OECD economies between 1996 and 2003. It tests whether there are differences in the factors driving the shares of potentially offshorable "non-clerical" and clerical occupations in total employment. The results show a positive statistical association between the share of both "non-clerical" and clerical occupations potentially affected by offshoring and exports of business services, and a negative association with imports of business services. However, the results also show important differences between different types of occupations as they behave differently over time, and are affected differently by variables included in the model. In particular, net outward manufacturing FDI, ICT investment, and the relative size of the services sector all have a positive association with the share of potentially offshorable "non-clerical" occupations, but are negative with clerical occupations. Union density has a positive statistical association with clerical occupations but negative with "non-clerical" occupations. These results have important implications for policy, as they clearly suggest that different factors are driving the performance of different occupational groups.

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This chapter was published in:

  • Marshall Reinsdorf & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2009. "International Trade in Services and Intangibles in the Era of Globalization," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number rein09-1, October.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 11613.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:11613

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    1. Nigel Pain, 2004. "International Production Relocation and Exports of Services," NIESR Discussion Papers 237, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
    2. Messina, Julián, 2004. "Institutions and service employment: a panel study for OECD countries," Working Paper Series 0320, European Central Bank.
    3. de la Fuente, Angel & Doménech, Rafael, 2000. "Human Capital In Growth Regressions: How Much Difference Does Data Quality Make?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2466, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Gregory Mankiw, N. & Swagel, Phillip, 2006. "The politics and economics of offshore outsourcing," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(5), pages 1027-1056, July.
    5. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2001. "The Skill Content of Recent Technological Change: An Empirical Exploration," NBER Working Papers 8337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. N. Gregory Mankiw & Phillip Swagel, 2009. "The Politics and Economics of Offshore Outsourcing," Working Papers 25726, American Enterprise Institute.
    7. Peter D. Ørberg Jensen & Jacob Funk Kirkegaard & Nicolai Søndergaard Laugesen, 2006. "Offshoring in Europe—Evidence of a Two-Way Street from Denmark," Working Paper Series WP06-3, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    8. J. Bradford Jensen & Lori G. Kletzer, 2005. "Tradable Services: Understanding the Scope and Impact of Services Outsourcing," Working Paper Series WP05-9, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    9. Oecd, 2006. "The Share of Employment Potentially Affected by Offshoring: An Empirical Investigation," OECD Digital Economy Papers 107, OECD Publishing.
    10. Julián Messina, 2005. "Institutions and Service Employment: A Panel Study for OECD Countries ," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 19(2), pages 343-372, 06.
    11. Head, Keith & Ries, John, 2002. "Offshore production and skill upgrading by Japanese manufacturing firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 81-105, October.
    12. Stephen Nickell & Stephen Redding & Joanna Swaffield, 2008. "The Uneven Pace of Deindustrialisation in the OECD," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(9), pages 1154-1184, 09.
    13. Marin, Dalia, 2004. "A Nation of Poets and Thinkers - Less so with Eastern Enlargement? Austria and Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers 4358, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. 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.
    15. Oecd, 2005. "Potential Offshoring of ICT-intensive Using Occupations," OECD Digital Economy Papers 91, OECD Publishing.
    16. Angel de la Fuente & Rafael Dom?ech, 2002. "Human capital in growth regressions: how much difference does data quality make? An update and further results," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 537.02, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    17. de la Fuente, Angel & Doménech, Rafael, 2002. "Educational Attainment in the OECD, 1960-95," CEPR Discussion Papers 3390, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. Desirée Van Welsum, 2004. "In Search of ‘Offshoring’: Evidence from U.S. Imports of Services," Birkbeck Working Papers in Economics and Finance 0402, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
    19. Catherine L. Mann, 2004. "The US Current Account, New Economy Services, and Implications for Sustainability," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(2), pages 262-276, 05.
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    Cited by:
    1. Beretta, Silvio & Targetti Lenti, Renata, 2011. "“India in the Outsourcing/Offshoring Process: A Western Perspective” - L’India nel processo di outsourcing/offshoring: un punto di vista occidentale," Economia Internazionale / International Economics, Camera di Commercio di Genova, vol. 64(3), pages 269-296.

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