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Dispelling Some Myths About Offshoring

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  • Harrison, Ann E.
  • McMillan, Margaret S.

Abstract

Critics of globalization claim that firms are being driven to shift employment abroad by the prospects of cheaper labor. Yet the evidence for this, beyond anecdotes, is slim. In this article, we review evidence on whether firms that do business in foreign countries are substituting foreign for domestic labor. We review the results of previous studies and present new firm-level evidence showing that, in fact, increases in employment in low-income countries do hurt employment at home. The premise that foreign expansion of U.S. multinationals encourages employment at home is a myth, but the domestic employment costs of offshoring are probably fairly small in magnitude.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 15615.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Publication status: Published in Academy of Management Perspectives 4.20(2006): pp. 6-22
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:15615

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Related research

Keywords: Outsourcing; globalization; foreign labor; domestic labor; multinationals;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Ann E. Harrison & Margaret S. McMillan, 2006. "Outsourcing Jobs? Multinationals and US Employment," NBER Working Papers 12372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Mündler, Marc-Andreas & Becker, Sascha O., 2006. "Margins of multinational labor substitution," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2006,24, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  5. Amiti, Mary & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2006. "Service Offshoring, Productivity and Employment: Evidence from the US," CEPR Discussion Papers 5475, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Jagdish Bhagwati & Arvind Panagariya, 2004. "The Muddles over Outsourcing," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(4), pages 93-114, Fall.
  7. J. Bradford Jensen & Andrew Bernard & Peter Schott, 2005. "Survival of the Best Fit: Exposure to Low-Wage Countries and the (Uneven) Growth of U.S. Manufacturing Plants," Working Papers 05-19, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  8. Currie, Janet & Harrison, Ann E, 1997. "Sharing the Costs: The Impact of Trade Reform on Capital and Labor in Morocco," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages S44-71, July.
  9. Gene M. Grossman & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2006. "Trading Tasks: A Simple Theory of Offshoring," NBER Working Papers 12721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Robert Feenstra & Gordon Hanson, 2001. "Global Production Sharing and Rising Inequality: A Survey of Trade and Wages," NBER Working Papers 8372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Ann Harrison & Gordon Hanson, 1999. "Who Gains from Trade Reform? Some Remaining Puzzles," NBER Working Papers 6915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Harrison, Ann, 2005. "Has Globalization Eroded Labor’s Share? Some Cross-Country Evidence," MPRA Paper 39649, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. 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.
  14. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1996. "Globalization, Outsourcing, and Wage Inequality," NBER Working Papers 5424, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. John W. Budd & Matthew J.Slaughter, 2000. "Are Profits Shared Across Borders? Evidence on International Rent Sharing," NBER Working Papers 8014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. David A. Riker & S. Lael Brainard, 1997. "U.S. Multinationals and Competition from Low Wage Countries," NBER Working Papers 5959, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. J.K. Mullen & Martin Williams, 2012. "Captive offshoring by US multinationals: measuring the domestic employment impacts of vertical FDI," International Journal of Economics and Business Research, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 4(1/2), pages 21-34.

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