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Alternative Measures of Offshorability: A Survey Approach

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  • Alan S. Blinder
  • Alan B. Krueger

Abstract

This paper reports on a household survey specially designed to measure what we call the “offshorability” of jobs, defined as the ability to perform the work duties from abroad. We develop multiple measures of offshorability, using both self-reporting and professional coders. All the measures find that roughly 25% of U.S. jobs are offshorable. Our three preferred measures agree between 70% and 80% of the time. Furthermore, professional coders appear to provide the most accurate assessments, which is good news because the Census Bureau could collect data on offshorability without adding a single question to the CPS. Empirically, more educated workers appear to hold somewhat more offshorable jobs, and offshorability does not have systematic effects on either wages or the probability of layoff. Perhaps most surprisingly, routine work is no more offshorable than other work.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15287.

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Date of creation: Aug 2009
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Publication status: published as Alan S. Blinder & Alan B. Krueger, 2013. "Alternative Measures of Offshorability: A Survey Approach," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(S1), pages S97 - S128.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15287

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  1. Morris M. Kleiner & Alan B. Krueger, 2008. "The Prevalence and Effects of Occupational Licensing," Working Papers 1069, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  2. Katharine G. Abraham & James R. Spletzer & Michael Harper, 2010. "Labor in the New Economy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number abra08-1, May.
  3. Jagdish Bhagwati & Alan S. Blinder, 2009. "Offshoring of American Jobs: What Response from U.S. Economic Policy?," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262013320 edited by Benjamin M. Friedman, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Runjuan Liu & Daniel Trefler, 2011. "A Sorted Tale of Globalization: White Collar Jobs and the Rise of Service Offshoring," NBER Working Papers 17559, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Hugo Rojas-Romagosa, 2011. "Wage inequality in trade-in-tasks models," CPB Discussion Paper 196, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  3. Autor, David & Dorn, David, 2012. "The Growth of Low Skill Service Jobs and the Polarization of the U.S. Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 7068, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Wright, Greg C., 2014. "Revisiting the employment impact of offshoring," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 63-83.
  5. Autor, David, 2013. "The "Task Approach" to Labor Markets: An Overview," IZA Discussion Papers 7178, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Wei, Xuan & Meng, Xianwei & Thornsbury, Suzanne, 2013. "A Structural Estimation of the Employment Effects of Offshoring in the U.S. Labor Market," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 151278, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  7. Rosario Crinò, 2012. "Service Offshoring and the Skill Composition of Labour Demand," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 74(1), pages 20-57, 02.
  8. David Amirault & Paul Fenton & Thérèse Laflèche, 2013. "Asking About Wages: Results from the Bank of Canada’s Wage Setting Survey of Canadian Companies," Discussion Papers 13-1, Bank of Canada.
  9. Ledia Guci & Charles Ian Mead, 2014. "Domestic Trade in Services in Regional Input-Output Models," BEA Working Papers 0106, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
  10. Antoni, Manfred & Janser, Markus & Lehmer, Florian, 2014. "The hidden winners of renewable energy promotion : insights into sector-specific wage differentials," IAB Discussion Paper 201412, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  11. Cosimo BEVERELLI & Gianluca OREFICE & Nadia ROCHA, 2011. "Offshoring and migration in a world with policy spillovers," Departmental Working Papers 2011-25, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  12. Petri, Böckerman & Seppo, Laaksonen & Jari, Vainiomäki, 2013. "Is there job polarization at the firm level?," MPRA Paper 50833, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Basco, Sergi & Mestieri, Martí, 2013. "Heterogeneous trade costs and wage inequality: A model of two globalizations," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 393-406.
  14. Semih Akcomak & Suzanne Kok & Hugo Rojas-Romagosa, 2013. "The effects of technology and offshoring on changes in employment and task-content of occupations," CPB Discussion Paper 233, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  15. Thomas Kemeny & David Rigby, 2012. "Trading away what kind of jobs? Globalization, trade and tasks in the US economy," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 148(1), pages 1-16, April.
  16. Wei, Xuan & Meng, Xianwei, 2013. "A Structural Estimation of the Employment Effects of Offshoring in the U.S. Labor Market," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150730, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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