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Offshoring and occupational wages: Some empirical evidence


  • Arne Bigsten
  • Dick Durevall
  • Farzana Munshi


Offshoring has changed the pattern of international competition; labor in specific occupations rather than whole firms and sectors are now facing competition. Accordingly, wages in offshorable occupations are affected in new ways. In this article, we investigate the effects of offshoring on relative occupational wages in 13 countries for 1990--2003. Our findings show that offshoring competiveness is associated with higher relative wages in offshorable occupations, and that export growth of IT-related services leads to higher relative wages in offshorable occupations, whereas import growth of such services reduces them.

Suggested Citation

  • Arne Bigsten & Dick Durevall & Farzana Munshi, 2012. "Offshoring and occupational wages: Some empirical evidence," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(2), pages 253-269, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jitecd:v:21:y:2012:i:2:p:253-269 DOI: 10.1080/09638191003615612

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1999. "The Impact of Outsourcing and High-Technology Capital on Wages: Estimates For the United States, 1979–1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 907-940.
    2. Alexander Hijzen, 2007. "International Outsourcing, Technological Change, and Wage Inequality," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(1), pages 188-205, February.
    3. Deardorff, Alan V., 2001. "Fragmentation in simple trade models," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 121-137, July.
    4. Mary Amiti & Shang-Jin Wei, 2005. "Fear of service outsourcing: is it justified?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(42), pages 308-347, April.
    5. Ekholm, Karolina & Hakkala, Katariina, 2005. "The Effect of Offshoring on Labor Demand: Evidence from Sweden," Working Paper Series 654, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    6. Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 2010. "Offshoring in a Ricardian World," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 227-258, April.
    7. Ekholm, Karolina & Ulltveit-Moe, Karen-Helene, 2007. "A New Look at Offshoring and Inequality: Specialization Versus Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 6402, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. 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.
    9. Bardhan, Ashok Deo & Kroll, Cynthia, 2003. "The New Wave of Outsourcing," Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics, Research Reports qt02f8z392, Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics, UC Berkeley.
    10. Richard B. Freeman & Remco Oostendorp, 2000. "Wages Around the World: Pay Across Occupations and Countries," NBER Working Papers 8058, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Mary Amiti & Shang-Jin Wei, 2006. "Service Offshoring and Productivity: Evidence from the United States," NBER Working Papers 11926, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tobal Martín, 2015. "A Model of Wage and Employment Effects of Service Offshoring," Working Papers 2015-10, Banco de México.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials


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