IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aejmac/v7y2015i3p84-122.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Offshoring and Directed Technical Change

Author

Listed:
  • 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
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/mac.20130302
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/mac/ds/0703/2013-0302_ds.zip
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/mac/data/0703/2013-0302_data.zip
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Nicholas Bloom & Mirko Draca & John Van Reenen, 2016. "Trade Induced Technical Change? The Impact of Chinese Imports on Innovation, IT and Productivity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(1), pages 87-117.
    3. Alan V. Deardorff, 2011. "Fragmentation in simple trade models," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Robert M Stern (ed.), Comparative Advantage, Growth, And The Gains From Trade And Globalization A Festschrift in Honor of Alan V Deardorff, chapter 16, pages 165-181, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    4. Acemoglu,Daron & Arellano,Manuel & Dekel,Eddie (ed.), 2013. "Advances in Economics and Econometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107016057, October.
    5. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2011. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence From French Firms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(5), pages 1453-1498, September.
    6. Ariel Burstein & Jonathan Vogel, 2017. "International Trade, Technology, and the Skill Premium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(5), pages 1356-1412.
    7. Julian di Giovanni & Andrei A. Levchenko & Jing Zhang, 2014. "The Global Welfare Impact of China: Trade Integration and Technological Change," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 153-183, July.
    8. Acemoglu, Daron & Gancia, Gino & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2012. "Competing engines of growth: Innovation and standardization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(2), pages 570-601.3.
    9. repec:hrv:faseco:4784031 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Suqin Ge & Dennis Tao Yang, 2014. "Changes In China'S Wage Structure," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 300-336, April.
    11. Mathias Thoenig & Thierry Verdier, 2003. "A Theory of Defensive Skill-Biased Innovation and Globalization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 709-728, June.
    12. Arnaud Costinot & Jonathan Vogel, 2010. "Matching and Inequality in the World Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(4), pages 747-786, August.
    13. Pol Antràs & Luis Garicano & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2006. "Offshoring in a Knowledge Economy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(1), pages 31-77.
    14. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(3), pages 691-751, September.
    15. Pol Antràs, 2005. "Incomplete Contracts and the Product Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1054-1073, September.
    16. Felix Tintelnot, 2017. "Global Production with Export Platforms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(1), pages 157-209.
    17. 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..
    18. Paolo Epifani & Gino Gancia, 2008. "The Skill Bias of World Trade," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(530), pages 927-960, July.
    19. Lee Branstetter & Kamal Saggi, 2011. "Intellectual Property Rights, Foreign Direct Investment and Industrial Development," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(555), pages 1161-1191, September.
    20. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2006. "Globalization and the Gains From Variety," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 541-585.
    21. Jaume Ventura & Francesco Caselli, 2000. "A Representative Consumer Theory of Distribution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 909-926, September.
    22. Zheng Song & Kjetil Storesletten & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2011. "Growing Like China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 196-233, February.
    23. Arnaud Costinot & Jonathan Vogel & Su Wang, 2013. "An Elementary Theory of Global Supply Chains," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(1), pages 109-144.
    24. Antonio Ciccone & Giovanni Peri, 2005. "Long-Run Substitutability Between More and Less Educated Workers: Evidence from U.S. States, 1950-1990," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(4), pages 652-663, November.
    25. Daron Acemoglu, 1998. "Why Do New Technologies Complement Skills? Directed Technical Change and Wage Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1055-1089.
    26. Daron Acemoglu, 2007. "Equilibrium Bias of Technology," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(5), pages 1371-1409, September.
    27. Krugman, Paul, 1979. "A Model of Innovation, Technology Transfer, and the World Distribution of Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(2), pages 253-266, April.
    28. Hillberry, Russell & Hummels, David, 2013. "Trade Elasticity Parameters for a Computable General Equilibrium Model," Handbook of Computable General Equilibrium Modeling, in: Peter B. Dixon & Dale Jorgenson (ed.), Handbook of Computable General Equilibrium Modeling, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 1213-1269, Elsevier.
    29. David H. Autor & David Dorn & Gordon H. Hanson, 2013. "The China Syndrome: Local Labor Market Effects of Import Competition in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2121-2168, October.
    30. Gancia, Gino & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2005. "Horizontal Innovation in the Theory of Growth and Development," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 3, pages 111-170, Elsevier.
    31. Antonio Ciccone & Elias Papaioannou, 2009. "Human Capital, the Structure of Production, and Growth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 66-82, February.
    32. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 71-102, October.
    33. Gino Gancia & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2009. "Technological Change and the Wealth of Nations," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 93-120, May.
    34. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2008. "Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Revising the Revisionists," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 300-323, May.
    35. Glass, Amy Jocelyn & Saggi, Kamal, 2001. "Innovation and wage effects of international outsourcing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 67-86, January.
    36. Dinopoulos, Elias & Segerstrom, Paul, 2010. "Intellectual property rights, multinational firms and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 13-27, May.
    37. Robert C. Feenstra & Gene M. Grossman & Douglas A. Irwin (ed.), 1996. "The Political Economy of Trade Policy: Papers in Honor of Jagdish Bhagwati," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061864.
    38. Acemoglu,Daron & Arellano,Manuel & Dekel,Eddie (ed.), 2013. "Advances in Economics and Econometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107674165, October.
    39. Alireza Naghavi & Gianmarco Ottaviano, 2009. "Offshoring and product innovation," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 38(3), pages 517-532, March.
    40. Acemoglu,Daron & Arellano,Manuel & Dekel,Eddie (ed.), 2013. "Advances in Economics and Econometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107016064, October.
    41. Gino Gancia & Andreas Müller & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2010. "Structural development accounting," Economics Working Papers 1249, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Feb 2011.
    42. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
    43. Baldwin, Richard & Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric, 2014. "Trade-in-goods and trade-in-tasks: An integrating framework," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 51-62.
    44. Acemoglu, Daron & Autor, David, 2011. "Skills, Tasks and Technologies: Implications for Employment and Earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 12, pages 1043-1171, Elsevier.
    45. Acemoglu,Daron & Arellano,Manuel & Dekel,Eddie (ed.), 2013. "Advances in Economics and Econometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107627314, October.
    46. Raymond Vernon, 1966. "International Investment and International Trade in the Product Cycle," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(2), pages 190-207.
    47. Feenstra, Robert C. & Jensen, J. Bradford, 2012. "Evaluating estimates of materials offshoring from US manufacturing," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 170-173.
    48. Paul A. Samuelson, 2004. "Where Ricardo and Mill Rebut and Confirm Arguments of Mainstream Economists Supporting Globalization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 135-146, Summer.
    49. Acemoglu,Daron & Arellano,Manuel & Dekel,Eddie (ed.), 2013. "Advances in Economics and Econometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107016040, October.
    50. Gene M. Grossman & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2008. "Trading Tasks: A Simple Theory of Offshoring," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1978-1997, December.
    51. Costas Arkolakis & Natalia Ramondo & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare & Stephen Yeaple, 2018. "Innovation and Production in the Global Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(8), pages 2128-2173, August.
    52. Deardorff, Alan V., 2005. "A trade theorist's take on skilled-labor outsourcing," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 259-271.
    53. Kiley, Michael T, 1999. "The Supply of Skilled Labour and Skill-Biased Technological Progress," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(458), pages 708-724, October.
    54. Ariel Burstein & Jonathan Vogel, 2010. "Globalization, Technology, and the Skill Premium: A Quantitative Analysis," NBER Working Papers 16459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    55. Lai, Edwin L. -C., 1998. "International intellectual property rights protection and the rate of product innovation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 133-153, February.
    56. Acemoglu,Daron & Arellano,Manuel & Dekel,Eddie (ed.), 2013. "Advances in Economics and Econometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107638105, October.
    57. 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.
    58. Sheng, Liugang & Yang, Dennis T., 2017. "Offshoring and Wage Inequality: Theory and Evidence from China," IZA Discussion Papers 10924, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Inoue, Atsushi & Jin, Lu & Rossi, Barbara, 2017. "Rolling window selection for out-of-sample forecasting with time-varying parameters," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 196(1), pages 55-67.
    2. Gino Gancia, 2012. "Globalization, technology and inequality," Economics Working Papers 1363, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Nov 2012.
    3. Jerzmanowski, Michal & Tamura, Robert, 2019. "Directed technological change & cross-country income differences: A quantitative analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 141(C).
    4. Acemoglu, Daron & Gancia, Gino & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2012. "Competing engines of growth: Innovation and standardization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(2), pages 570-601.3.
    5. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2019. "Brands in Motion: How Frictions Shape Multinational Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(9), pages 3073-3124, September.
    6. Tomasz Serwach, 2022. "The European Union and within-country income inequalities. The case of the New Member States," Working Papers hal-03548416, HAL.
    7. Beerli, Andreas & Weiss, Franziska J. & Zilibotti, Fabrizio & Zweimüller, Josef, 2020. "Demand forces of technical change evidence from the Chinese manufacturing industry," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 60(C).
    8. Antonio Navas & Antonella Nocco, 2021. "Trade liberalization, selection, and technology adoption with vertical linkages," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(4), pages 979-1012, September.
    9. Muendler, Marc-Andreas, 2017. "Trade, technology, and prosperity: An account of evidence from a labor-market perspective," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2017-15, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    10. 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.
    11. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2019. "Brands in Motion: How Frictions Shape Multinational Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(9), pages 3073-3124, September.
    12. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2019. "Brands in Motion: How Frictions Shape Multinational Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(9), pages 3073-3124, September.
    13. Ufuk Akcigit & Sina T. Ates & Giammario Impullitti, 2018. "Innovation and Trade Policy in a Globalized World," NBER Working Papers 24543, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Jonathan EATON & Samuel KORTUM & Francis KRAMARZ, 2016. "Firm-to-Firm Trade: Imports, exports, and the labor market," Discussion papers 16048, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    15. Bessonova, Evguenia & Gonchar, Ksenia, 2019. "How the innovation-competition link is shaped by technology distance in a high-barrier catch-up economy," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 86, pages 15-32.
    16. Diego Restuccia & Richard Rogerson, 2017. "The Causes and Costs of Misallocation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 151-174, Summer.
    17. Alessandra Bonfiglioli & Gino Gancia, 2019. "Heterogeneity, selection and labor market disparities," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 31, pages 305-325, January.
    18. Wolfgang Lechthaler & Mariya Mileva, 2019. "Trade liberalization and wage inequality: new insights from a dynamic trade model with heterogeneous firms and comparative advantage," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 155(3), pages 407-457, August.
    19. Daron Acemoglu & Pascual Restrepo, 2016. "The Race Between Machine and Man: Implications of Technology for Growth, Factor Shares and Employment," NBER Working Papers 22252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2017. "Growing and Slowing Down Like China," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 15(5), pages 943-988.

    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

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:7:y:2015:i:3:p:84-122. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Michael P. Albert (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.