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Immigration, Offshoring and American Jobs

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  • Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano
  • Giovanni Peri
  • Greg C. Wright

Abstract

How do offshoring and immigration affect the employment of native workers? What kinds of jobs suffer, or benefit, most from the competition created by offshore and immigrant workers? In contrast to the existing literature that has mostly looked at the effects of offshoring and immigration separately, we argue that one can gain useful insights by jointly investigating the interactions among native, immigrant and offshore workers. We develop our argument in three steps. First, we present some new facts on 58 U.S. manufacturing industries from 2000 to 2007. Second, we build on Grossman and Rossi-Hansberg (2008) to design a model of task assignment among heterogeneous native, immigrant and offshore workers that fits those facts. Third, we use the model to draw systematic predictions about the effects of immigration and offshoring on native workers and we test these predictions on the data. We find that, within the manufacturing sector, immigrants do not compete much with natives, as these two groups of workers are relatively specialized in tasks at opposite ends of the skill intensity spectrum. Offshore workers, on the other hand, seem to be specialized in tasks of intermediate skill intensity. We also find that offshoring has no effect on native employment in the aggregate, while the effect of immigration on native employment is positive. This hints at the presence of a "productivity effect" whereby offshoring and immigration improve industry efficiency, thereby creating new jobs.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp1147.

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Date of creation: May 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1147

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Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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Keywords: Employment; production tasks; immigrants; offshoring;

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References

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  1. Kristin F. Butcher & John DiNardo, 1998. "The Immigrant and Native-born Wage Distributions: Evidence from United States Censuses," NBER Working Papers 6630, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Giovanni Peri & Chad Sparber, 2008. "Task Specialisation, Immigration and Wages," Development Working Papers 252, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  3. Alan Manning, 2004. "We can work it out: the impact of technological change on the demand for low skill workers," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19948, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Ottaviano, Gianmarco Ireo Paolo & Peri, Giovanni, 2008. "Immigration and National Wages: Clarifying the Theory and the Empirics," CEPR Discussion Papers 6916, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Giovanni Peri, 2009. "The Effect of Immigration on Productivity: Evidence from US States," NBER Working Papers 15507, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Chassamboulli, Andri & Palivos, Theodore, 2010. ""Give me your Tired, your Poor," so I can Prosper: Immigration in Search Equilibrium," MPRA Paper 32379, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Emily Blanchard & Gerald Willmann, 2013. "Trade, Education, and The Shrinking Middle Class," Kiel Working Papers 1831, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  8. William W. Olney, 2008. "Offshoring, Immigration, and the Native Wage Distribution," Department of Economics Working Papers 2010-10, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised Feb 2011.
  9. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2007. "Lousy and Lovely Jobs: The Rising Polarization of Work in Britain," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 118-133, February.
  10. Monte, Ferdinando, 2011. "Skill bias, trade, and wage dispersion," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 202-218, March.
  11. Ann Harrison & Margaret McMillan, 2009. "Offshoring Jobs? Multinationals and US Manufacturing Employment," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0741, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  12. Becker, Sascha & Ekholm, Karolina & Muendler, Marc-Andreas, 2009. "Offshoring and the Onshore Composition of Tasks and Skills," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2009-18, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  13. Adolfo Barajas & Ralph Chami & Dalia Hakura & Peter Montiel, 2010. "Workers' Remittances and the Equilibrium Real Exchange Rate: Theory and Evidence," Center for Development Economics 2010-02, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  14. Robert C. Feenstra & John Romalis & Peter K. Schott, 2002. "U.S. Imports, Exports, and Tariff Data, 1989-2001," NBER Working Papers 9387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Chiswick, Barry R. & Lee, Yew Liang & Miller, Paul W., 2005. "Immigrant Earnings: A Longitudinal Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 1750, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  18. Pol Antràs, 2003. "Firms, Contracts, and Trade Structure," NBER Working Papers 9740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Franziska Ohnsorge & Daniel Trefler, 2004. "Sorting It Out: International Trade and Protection With Heterogeneous Workers," NBER Working Papers 10959, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Gene M. Grossman & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2008. "Trading Tasks: A Simple Theory of Offshoring," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1978-97, December.
  21. Avraham Ebenstein & Ann Harrison & Margaret McMillan & Shannon Phillips, 2009. "Estimating the Impact of Trade and Offshoring on American Workers Using the Current Population Surveys," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0742, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  22. Heather Antecol & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Stephen J. Trejo, . "Immigration Policy and the Skills of Immigrants to Australia, Canada, and the United States," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2001-26, Claremont Colleges.
  23. Giorgio Barba Navaretti & Giuseppe Bertola & Alessandro Sembenelli, 2008. "Offshoring and Immigrant Employment: Firm-level Theory and Evidence," Development Working Papers 245, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. How Immigration Reduces Offshoring
    by Ariel Goldring in Free Market Mojo on 2010-11-06 12:00:47
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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Cited by:
  1. Geishecker, Ingo & Riedl, Maximilian & Frijters, Paul, 2012. "Offshoring and job loss fears: An econometric analysis of individual perceptions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 738-747.
  2. Benedikt Heid & Mario Larch, 2011. "Migration, Trade and Unemployment," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Paper No. 115, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  3. Wright, Greg C., 2014. "Revisiting the employment impact of offshoring," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 63-83.

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