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The Economics of Outsourcing: How Should Policy Respond?


  • Thomas Palley


Outsourcing is a central element of economic globalization, representing a new form of competition. Responding to outsourcing calls for policies that enhance national competitiveness and establish rules ensuring acceptable forms of competition. Viewing outsourcing through the lens of competition connects with early 20th-century American institutional economics. The policy challenge is to construct institutions that ensure stable, robust flows of demand and income, thereby addressing the Keynesian problem while preserving incentives for economic action. This was the approach embedded in the New Deal, which successfully addressed the problems of the Depression era. Global outsourcing poses the challenge anew and calls for creative institutional arrangements to shape the nature of competition.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Palley, 2008. "The Economics of Outsourcing: How Should Policy Respond?," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 66(3), pages 279-295.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rsocec:v:66:y:2008:i:3:p:279-295 DOI: 10.1080/00346760701821896

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tobin, James, 1975. "Keynesian Models of Recession and Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(2), pages 195-202, May.
    2. Gregory Mankiw, N. & Swagel, Phillip, 2006. "The politics and economics of offshore outsourcing," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(5), pages 1027-1056, July.
    3. 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.
    4. Wolfgang F. Stolper & Paul A. Samuelson, 1941. "Protection and Real Wages," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 58-73.
    5. Lori G. Kletzer, 2001. "Job Loss from Imports: Measuring the Costs," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 110.
    6. William R. Cline, 1997. "Trade and Income Distribution," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 58.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas I. Palley, 2006. "Rethinking Trade and Trade Policy: Gomory, Baumol, and Samuelson on Comparative Advantage," Economics Public Policy Brief Archive ppb_86, Levy Economics Institute.
    2. Thomas I. Palley, 2009. "Rethinking the Economics of Capital Mobilityand Capital Controls," IMK Working Paper 01-2009, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.


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