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Offshoring and Labor Markets

Author

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  • David Hummels
  • Jakob R. Munch
  • Chong Xiang

Abstract

In this paper we survey the recent empirical literature on the effects of offshoring on wage, employment and displacement. We start with an overview of the measurement of offshoring, organizing our discussion around the three key elements of offshoring: that it involves intermediate inputs for production (vs. final goods for consumption); that it involves imported inputs (vs. domestically produced ones); and that the inputs involved could have been produced internally within the same firm. We then briefly discuss the theories of offshoring, and survey the literature that examines the wage effects of offshoring: the wave of studies using industry-level data; the wave using firm-level data; the wave using worker-level data; and the wave using matched worker-firm data. For each wave we highlight the identification strategies used, critically assess its strength and weakness, discuss its connections with theory, and draw out potential policy implications of its findings. Finally we survey the literature that examines how offshoring affects employment and displacement. We highlight the recent development of a novel cohort-based approach that is specifically designed to address selection with displacement, and capable of identifying the overall effects of offshoring, including wage, displacement, and all other types of transition.

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  • David Hummels & Jakob R. Munch & Chong Xiang, 2018. "Offshoring and Labor Markets," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 56(3), pages 981-1028, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:56:y:2018:i:3:p:981-1028
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jel.20161150
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    Cited by:

    1. Nikos Terzidis & Steven Brakman & Raquel Ortega-Argiles, 2019. "Labour Markets, Trade and Technological Progress: A Meta-Study," CESifo Working Paper Series 7719, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. repec:eee:inecon:v:117:y:2019:i:c:p:209-228 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Guido Matias Cortes & Diego M. Morris, 2019. "Are Routine Jobs Moving South? Evidence from Changes in the Occupational Structure of Employment in the U.S. and Mexico," Working Paper series 19-15, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    4. Andrea Coveri & Mario Pianta, 2019. "The Structural Dynamics of Income Distribution:Technology, Wages and Profits," Working Papers 1901, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Department of Economics, Society & Politics - Scientific Committee - L. Stefanini & G. Travaglini, revised 2019.
    5. Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2019. "Misfits in the car industry: Offshore assembly decisions at the variety level," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 90-105.
    6. Kamal, Fariha & Lovely, Mary E., 2017. "Import competition from and offshoring to low-income countries: Implications for employment and wages at U.S. domestic manufacturers," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 100-119.
    7. Lewandowski, Piotr & Keister, Roma & Hardy, Wojciech & Górka, Szymon, 2017. "Routine and Ageing? The Intergenerational Divide in the Deroutinisation of Jobs in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 10732, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Grimm, Alexis & Kim, Mina, 2016. "FDI and the task content of domestic employment for U.S. multinationals," Globalization Institute Working Papers 286, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    9. repec:eee:inecon:v:111:y:2018:i:c:p:21-33 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Lewandowski, Piotr & Park, Albert & Hardy, Wojciech & Du, Yang, 2019. "Technology, Skills, and Globalization: Explaining International Differences in Routine and Nonroutine Work Using Survey Data," IZA Discussion Papers 12339, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Eppinger, Peter S., 2019. "Service offshoring and firm employment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 209-228.
    12. Szymon Gorka & Wojciech Hardy & Roma Keister & Piotr Lewandowski, 2017. "Tasks and skills in European labour markets. Background paper for the World Bank report “Growing United: Upgrading Europe’s Convergence Machine”," IBS Research Reports 03/2017, Instytut Badan Strukturalnych.
    13. Alcalá, Francisco & Solaz, Marta, 2018. "International Relocation of Production and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 13422, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Szymon Gorka & Wojciech Hardy & Roma Keister & Piotr Lewandowski, 2017. "Age, tasks and skills in European labour markets. Background paper for the world bank report “Growing United: Upgrading Europe’s Convergence Machine”," IBS Research Reports 04/2017, Instytut Badan Strukturalnych.
    15. repec:iza:izawol:journl:2017:n:364 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Irlacher, Michael & Baumgarten, Daniel & Koch, Michael, 2017. "Short- versus long-run effects of offshoring when sectors are heterogeneous," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168272, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    17. repec:eee:jpolmo:v:41:y:2019:i:3:p:435-443 is not listed on IDEAS

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    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • 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
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • L24 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Contracting Out; Joint Ventures
    • M55 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Contracting Devices

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