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The Politics and Economics of Offshore Outsourcing

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  • N. Gregory Mankiw
  • Phillip Swagel

Abstract

This paper reviews the political uproar over offshore outsourcing connected with the release of the Economic Report of the President (ERP) in February 2004, examines the differing ways in which economists and non-economists talk about offshore outsourcing, and assesses the empirical evidence on the importance of offshore outsourcing in accounting for the weak labor market from 2001 to 2004. Even with important gaps in the data, the empirical literature is able to conclude that offshore outsourcing is unlikely to have accounted for a meaningful part of the job losses in the recent downturn or contributed much to the slow labor market rebound. The empirical evidence to date, while still tentative, actually suggests that increased employment in the overseas affiliates of U.S. multinationals is associated with more employment in the U.S. parent rather than less.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12398.

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Date of creation: Jul 2006
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Publication status: published as 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.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12398

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  1. Barbara J. Spencer, 2005. "International Outsourcing and Incomplete Contracts," NBER Working Papers 11418, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Erica L. Groshen & Bart Hobijn & Margaret M. McConnell, 2005. "U.S. jobs gained and lost through trade: a net measure," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 11(Aug).
  3. Paul A. Samuelson, 2004. "Where Ricardo and Mill Rebut and Confirm Arguments of Mainstream Economists Supporting Globalization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 135-146, Summer.
  4. Jagdish Bhagwati & Arvind Panagariya, 2004. "The Muddles over Outsourcing," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 18(4), pages 93-114, Fall.
  5. S. Lael Brainard & David A. Riker, 1997. "Are U.S. Multinationals Exporting U.S. Jobs?," NBER Working Papers 5958, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. David Autor & Frank Levy & Richard Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
  7. Markusen, James R., 2005. "Modeling the Offshoring of White-Collar Services: From Comparative Advantage to the New Theories of Trade and FDI," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 5408, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Martin Neil Baily & Robert Z. Lawrence, 2004. "What Happened to the Great U.S. Job Machine? The Role of Trade and Electronic Offshoring," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 35(2), pages 211-284.
  9. Bardhan, Ashok Deo & Kroll, Cynthia, 2003. "The New Wave of Outsourcing," Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics, Research Reports, Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics, UC Berkeley qt02f8z392, Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics, UC Berkeley.
  10. J. Bradford Jensen & Lori G. Kletzer, 2005. "Tradable Services: Understanding the Scope and Impact of Services Outsourcing," Working Paper Series, Peterson Institute for International Economics WP05-9, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  11. Ralph H. Kozlow & Maria Borga, 2004. ""Offshoring" and the U.s. Balance of Payments," BEA Papers, Bureau of Economic Analysis 0038, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
  12. J. Steven Landefeld & Raymond J. Mataloni, 2004. "Offshore Outsourcing and Multinational Companies," BEA Papers, Bureau of Economic Analysis 0043, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
  13. Mary Amiti & Shang-Jin Wei, 2004. "Fear of Service Outsourcing: Is It Justified?," NBER Working Papers 10808, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Avinash Dixit & Gene Grossman, 2005. "The Limits of Free Trade: Comment," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 241-242, Summer.
  15. Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines Jr., 2005. "Foreign Direct Investment and Domestic Economic Activity," NBER Working Papers 11717, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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