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We Can Work It Out - The Globalisation of ICT-enabled Services

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  • Desiree 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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12799.

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Date of creation: Dec 2006
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12799

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  1. 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.
  2. N. Gregory Mankiw & Phillip Swagel, 2006. "The Politics and Economics of Offshore Outsourcing," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2120, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. David Autor & Frank Levy & Richard Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
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  5. 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.
  6. de la Fuente, Angel & Doménech, Rafael, 2002. "Educational Attainment in the OECD, 1960-95," CEPR Discussion Papers 3390, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Bob Anderton, 1996. "Did the Underlying Behaviour of Inflation Change in the 1980s? A Study of 17 Countries," NIESR Discussion Papers 237, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
  10. Oecd, 2005. "Potential Offshoring of ICT-intensive Using Occupations," OECD Digital Economy Papers 91, OECD Publishing.
  11. Oecd, 2006. "The Share of Employment Potentially Affected by Offshoring: An Empirical Investigation," OECD Digital Economy Papers 107, OECD Publishing.
  12. 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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  14. 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.
  15. de la Fuente, Angel & Doménech, Rafael, 2002. "Human Capital in Growth Regressions: How Much Difference Does Data Quality Make? An Update and Further Results," CEPR Discussion Papers 3587, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Messina, Julián, 2004. "Institutions and service employment: a panel study for OECD countries," Working Paper Series 0320, European Central Bank.
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  19. Nigel Pain & Desirée van Welsum, 2004. "International Production Relocation and Exports of Services," OECD Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2004(1), pages 67-94.
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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.
  2. 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.

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