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Offshoring and Directed Technical Change

Author

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  • Daron Acemoglu
  • Gino Gancia
  • Fabrizio Zilibotti

Abstract

We study the implications of offshoring on innovation, technology, and wage inequality in a Ricardian model with directed technical change. Profit maximization determines both the extent of offshoring and the direction of technological progress. A fall in the offshoring cost induces technical change with an ambiguous factor bias. When the initial cost of offshoring is high, an increase in offshoring opportunities causes a fall in the real wages of unskilled workers in industrial countries, skill-biased technical change and rising skill premia. When the offshoring cost is sufficiently low, instead, offshoring induces technical change biased in favor of the unskilled workers. (JEL J24, J31, L24, O33)

Suggested Citation

  • Daron Acemoglu & Gino Gancia & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2015. "Offshoring and Directed Technical Change," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 84-122, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:7:y:2015:i:3:p:84-122
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.20130302
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    Cited by:

    1. Hartmut Egger & Udo Kreickemeier & Jens Wrona, 2017. "Offshoring Domestic Jobs," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: International Trade and Labor Markets Welfare, Inequality and Unemployment, chapter 2, pages 27-70 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    2. Li, Shang-ao & Pan, Shan & Chi, Shawn, 2016. "North–South FDI and directed technical change," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 425-435.
    3. repec:kap:iecepo:v:14:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10368-016-0371-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Linda Andersson & Patrik Karpaty & Selen Savsin, 2016. "Firm-level effects of offshoring of materials and services on relative labor demand," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 152(2), pages 321-350, May.
    5. repec:kap:empiri:v:45:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10663-016-9352-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Baum, Christopher F & Lööf, Hans & Perez, Luis & Stephan, Andreas, 2018. "Offshoring and Innovation Capabilities: Evidence from Swedish Manufacturing," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 469, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    7. repec:eee:reveco:v:51:y:2017:i:c:p:535-544 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Ashima Goyal, 2013. "Growth drivers: ICT and inclusive innovations," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2013-018, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    9. Christian K. Darko & Giovanni Occhiali & Enrico Vanino, 2018. "The Chinese are Here: Firm Level Analysis of Import Competition and Performance in Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 2018.14, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    10. Laurens Cherchye & Thomas Demuynck & Bram De Rock & Marijn Verschelde, 2018. "Nonparametric identification of unobserved technological heterogeneity in production," Working Paper Research 335, National Bank of Belgium.
    11. Kim, Sung-min & Hwang, Jin-tae, 2016. "Offshoring, wages, and heterogeneity," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 37, pages 65-72.
    12. Aleksandra Parteka & Joanna Wolszczak-Derlacz, 2015. "Integrated sectors - diversified earnings: the (missing) impact of offshoring on wages and wage convergence in the EU27," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 13(3), pages 325-350, September.
    13. Laurens Cherchye & Thomas Demuynck & Bram De Rock & Marijn Verschelde, 2018. "Nonparametric Production Analysis with Unobserved Heterogeneity in Productivity," Working Papers ECARES 2018-25, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    14. Song, Malin & Wang, Shuhong, 2016. "Can employment structure promote environment-biased technical progress?," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 285-292.
    15. Daron Acemoglu, 2015. "Localised and Biased Technologies: Atkinson and Stiglitz's New View, Induced Innovations, and Directed Technological Change," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0(583), pages 443-463, March.
    16. repec:spr:annopr:v:268:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10479-016-2307-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Angus Chu & Guido Cozzi & Yuichi Furukawa, 2015. "Effects of Economic Development in China on Skill-Biased Technical Change in the US," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(2), pages 227-242, April.
    18. Sheng, Liugang & Yang, Dennis T., 2017. "Offshoring and Wage Inequality: Theory and Evidence from China," IZA Discussion Papers 10924, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    19. Gino Gancia, 2012. "Globalization, technology and inequality," Economics Working Papers 1363, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Nov 2012.
    20. repec:aea:aejmic:v:10:y:2018:i:1:p:67-101 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Meng, Xianwei & Wei, Xuan, 2016. "A Dynamic Model of Effects of Effects of Trade and Environmental Policies on Firms' Offshoring and Clean Technology Adoption Decisions," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 236064, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    22. repec:eee:eecrev:v:98:y:2017:i:c:p:217-239 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Joanna Wolszczak-Derlacz & Aleksandra Parteka, 2018. "The effects of offshoring to low-wage countries on domestic wages: a worldwide industrial analysis," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 45(1), pages 129-163, February.
    24. Giammario Impullitti, 2016. "Global Innovation Races, Offshoring and Wage Inequality," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(1), pages 171-202, February.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • L24 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Contracting Out; Joint Ventures
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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