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What Do We Know about Contracting Out in the United States? Evidence from Household and Establishment Surveys

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  • Matthew Dey

    (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

  • Susan Houseman

    ()
    (W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research)

  • Anne Polivka

    (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Abstract

A variety of evidence points to significant growth in domestic contracting out over the last two decades, yet the phenomenon is not well documented. In this paper, we pull together data from various sources to shed light on the extent of and trends in domestic outsourcing, the occupations in which it has grown, and the industries engaging in outsourcing for the employment services sector, which has been a particularly important area of domestic outsourcing. In addition, we examine evidence of contracting out of selected occupations to other sectors. We point to many gaps in our knowledge on trends in domestic outsourcing and its implications for employment patterns and to inconsistencies across data sets in the information that is available. We recommend steps to improve data in this area.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in its series Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles with number 09-157.

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Date of creation: Sep 2009
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Handle: RePEc:upj:weupjo:09-157

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Keywords: contracting out; outsourcing; employment services; houseman;

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References

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  1. Brenda A. Lautsch, 2002. "Uncovering and explaining variance in the features and outcomes of contingent work," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(1), pages 23-43, October.
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  11. Lewis M. Segal & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1997. "The Growth of Temporary Services Work," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 117-136, Spring.
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  17. Susan N. Houseman & Anne E. Polivka, 1999. "The Implications of Flexible Staffing Arrangements for Job Stability," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 99-56, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
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  20. Katharine G. Abraham, 1988. "Flexible Staffing Arrangements and Employers' Short-Term Adjustment Strategies," NBER Working Papers 2617, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Zimmerman, Paul R., 2010. "Deterrence from self-protection measures in the ‘market model’ of crime: dynamic panel data estimates from employment in private security occupations," MPRA Paper 26187, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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