The Opening Up of Eastern Europe at 20-Jobs, Skills, and ‘Reverse Maquiladoras’ in Austria and Germany
AbstractMany people in the European Union fear that Eastern Enlargement leads to major job losses. More recently, these fears about job losses have extended to high skill labor and IT jobs. The paper examines with unique firm level data whether these fears are justified for the two neighboring countries of Eastern Enlargement Austria and Germany. We find that Eastern Enlargement leads to surprising small job losses of less than 0.5 percent of total employment in Germany and of 1.5 percent in Austria, because jobs in Eastern Europe do not compete with jobs in Austria and Germany. Low cost jobs of affiliates in Eastern Europe help Austrian and German firms to stay competitive in an increasingly competitive environment. However, we also find that multinational firms in Austria and Germany are outsourcing skill intensive activities to Eastern Europe taking advantage of cheap abundant skilled labor there. We find that the firms’ outsourcing activities to Eastern Europe are a response to a human capital scarcity in Austria and Germany which has become particularly severe in the 1990s. We indeed find a reverse pattern of ‘Maquiladoras’ emerging with Eastern Enlargement in Austria and Germany compared to what economists have found for the North American Free Trade Agreement. Skilled workers in Austria and Germany are losing from outsourcing. In both countries outsourcing contributes 35 percent and 41 percent, respectively, to changes in relative wages for skilled workers in Austria and Germany. To address the skill exodus to Eastern Europe we suggest liberalizing the movement of high skill labor.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers in Economics with number 11435.
Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
human capital; intra-firm trade; multinationals and jobs; outsourcing to Eastern Europe; R&D policy;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
- F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
- L24 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Contracting Out; Joint Ventures
- O3 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights
- P33 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - International Trade, Finance, Investment, Relations, and Aid
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-03-28 (All new papers)
- NEP-EUR-2010-03-28 (Microeconomic European Issues)
- NEP-HRM-2010-03-28 (Human Capital & Human Resource Management)
- NEP-INT-2010-03-28 (International Trade)
- NEP-LAB-2010-03-28 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-TRA-2010-03-28 (Transition Economics)
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