IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Offshoring of routine tasks and (de)industrialisation: Threat or opportunity--And for whom?

Listed author(s):
  • Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric

Offshoring, or overseas sourcing of routine tasks, generates efficiency gains that benefit consumers and workers with skills similar to those whose very jobs are threatened by offshoring. Essentially, the interaction between offshoring, footloose capital and agglomeration economies locks the comparative advantage of advanced nations in complex or strategic functions while labour services in 'routine' tasks, the coordination of which is easily codified, are provided by low-wage developing nations through the fibre optic cable. In this framework, the partial-equilibrium view that offshoring is necessarily detrimental to workers in advanced nations is misguided because the implicit counterfactual--that keeping the off-shored jobs would have no macroeconomic impact on the economy--is not warranted. In addition, inasmuch as routine tasks create few positive feedbacks, trade in tasks can be an impediment to income convergence, unlike trade in goods. In short, this paper qualifies the views that offshoring hurts workers in the North and accelerates income convergence between the North and the South.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0094-1190(07)00030-7
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 63 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 517-535

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:63:y:2008:i:2:p:517-535
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622905

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Paul Cheshire, 1995. "A New Phase of Urban Development in Western Europe? The Evidence for the 1980s," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 32(7), pages 1045-1063, August.
  2. Baldwin, Richard & Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric, 2007. "Offshoring: General Equilibrium Effects on Wages, Production and Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 6218, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 1995. "Globalization and the Inequality of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 857-880.
  4. 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.
  5. Duranton, Gilles & Puga, Diego, 2005. "From sectoral to functional urban specialisation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 343-370, March.
  6. Charlot, Sylvie & Gaigne, Carl & Robert-Nicoud, Frederic & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 2006. "Agglomeration and welfare: The core-periphery model in the light of Bentham, Kaldor, and Rawls," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 325-347, January.
  7. Barba Navaretti, Giorgio & Castellani, Davide & Disdier, Anne-Célia, 2006. "How Does Investing in Cheap Labour Countries Affect Performance at Home? France and Italy," CEPR Discussion Papers 5765, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Masahisa Fujita & Jacques-François Thisse, 2006. "Globalization And The Evolution Of The Supply Chain: Who Gains And Who Loses?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(3), pages 811-836, 08.
  9. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00118808 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Mary Amiti & Shang-Jin Wei, 2005. "Service Offshoring, Productivity, and Employment; Evidence from the United States," IMF Working Papers 05/238, .
  11. Edward E Leamer & Michael Storper, 2001. "The Economic Geography of the Internet Age," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 32(4), pages 641-665, December.
  12. Kei-Mu Yi, 2003. "Can Vertical Specialization Explain the Growth of World Trade?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(1), pages 52-102, February.
  13. Defever, Fabrice, 2006. "Functional fragmentation and the location of multinational firms in the enlarged Europe," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 658-677, September.
  14. Venables, Anthony J, 1996. "Equilibrium Locations of Vertically Linked Industries," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(2), pages 341-359, May.
  15. repec:hhs:iuiwop:430 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Flam, Harry & Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Industrial policy under monopolistic competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-2), pages 79-102, February.
  17. Kenneth F. Scheve & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2001. "Globalization and the Perceptions of American Workers," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 109, 03.
  18. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, 2006. "The 'genome' of NEG models with vertical linkages: a positive and normative synthesis," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 113-139, April.
  19. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "National and International Returns to Scale in the Modern Theory of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 389-405, June.
  20. Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, 2005. "The structure of simple 'New Economic Geography' models (or, On identical twins)," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 201-234, April.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:63:y:2008:i:2:p:517-535. 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: (Dana Niculescu)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.