IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/wej/wldecn/376.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

How Many US Jobs Might be Offshorable?

Author

Listed:
  • Alan S. Blinder

Abstract

Using detailed information on the nature of work done in over 800 US Bureau of Labor Statistics occupational codes, this paper ranks those occupations according to how easy/hard it is to offshore the work – either physically or electronically. Using this ranking, it is estimated that somewhere between 22% and 29% of all US jobs are or will be potentially offshorable within a decade or two. (No estimate is made of how many jobs will actually be offshored.) Since the rankings are subjective, two alternatives are presented – one is entirely objective, the other is an independent subjective ranking. In general, they corroborate the rankings, albeit not perfectly. It is found that there is little or no correlation between an occupation’s ‘offshorability’ and the skill level of its workers (as measured either by educational attainment or wages). However, it appears that, controlling for education, the most highly offshorable occupations were already paying significantly lower wages in 2004.

Suggested Citation

  • Alan S. Blinder, 2009. "How Many US Jobs Might be Offshorable?," World Economics, World Economics, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 10(2), pages 41-78, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:wej:wldecn:376
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.worldeconomics.com/Journal/Papers/Article.details?ID=376
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alan S. Blinder, 2005. "Fear of Offshoring," Working Papers 83, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
    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. 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.
    4. J. Bradford Jensen & Lori G. Kletzer, 2005. "Tradable Services: Understanding the Scope and Impact of Services Outsourcing," Working Paper Series WP05-9, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    5. Alan S. Blinder, 2005. "Fear of Offshoring," Working Papers 83, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
    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. Alan S. Blinder, 2009. "How Many US Jobs Might be Offshorable?," World Economics, World Economics, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 10(2), pages 41-78, April.
    2. repec:pri:cepsud:142blinder is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Desireé van Welsum & Xavier Reif, 2009. "We Can Work It Out: The Globalization of ICT-Enabled Services," NBER Chapters, in: International Trade in Services and Intangibles in the Era of Globalization, pages 289-325, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Runjuan Liu & Daniel Trefler, 2008. "Much Ado About Nothing: American Jobs and the Rise of Service Outsourcing to China and India," NBER Working Papers 14061, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Robert Grzanka, 2007. "Umiędzynarodowienie sektora usług," Gospodarka Narodowa. The Polish Journal of Economics, Warsaw School of Economics, issue 7-8, pages 43-63.
    6. Jacob F. Kirkegaard, 2008. "Offshoring, Outsourcing And Production Relocations — Labor Market Effects In The Oecd And Developing Asia," The Singapore Economic Review (SER), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 53(03), pages 371-418.
    7. Rosario Crino, 2006. "Are U.S. White-Collar Really at Risk of Service Offshoring?," KITeS Working Papers 183, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Oct 2006.
    8. Martin Tobal, 2019. "A model of wage and employment effects of service offshoring," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 52(1), pages 303-338, February.
    9. Bardhan Ashok & Tang John, 2010. "What Kind of Job is Safer? A Note on Occupational Vulnerability," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-17, January.
    10. Luisa Gagliardi & Simona Iammarino & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2015. "Offshoring and the Geography of Jobs in Great Britain," SERC Discussion Papers sercd0185, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    11. Lori G. Kletzer, 2006. "Comment on "We Can Work It Out: The Globalization of ICT-Enabled Services"," NBER Chapters, in: International Trade in Services and Intangibles in the Era of Globalization, pages 325-328, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Becker, Sascha O. & Ekholm, Karolina & Muendler, Marc-Andreas, 2013. "Offshoring and the onshore composition of tasks and skills," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 91-106.
    13. Wilhelm Kohler & Jens Wrona, 2010. "Offshoring Tasks, yet Creating Jobs?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3019, CESifo.
    14. 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.
    15. Rosario Crinò, 2009. "Offshoring, Multinationals And Labour Market: A Review Of The Empirical Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(2), pages 197-249, April.
    16. Stijepic, Denis & Wagner, Helmut, 2008. "Impacts of Intermediate Trade on Structural Change," MPRA Paper 40841, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 23 Aug 2012.
    17. Ebru Kongar & Mark Price, 2007. "Is White the New Blue? The Impact on Gender Wage and Employment Differentials of Offshoring of White-collar Jobs in the United States," Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, University of Utah 2007_08, University of Utah, Department of Economics.
    18. Luigi Benfratello & Tiziano Razzolini & Alessandro Sembenelli, 2009. "Does ICT Investment Spur or Hamper Offshoring? Empirical Evidence from Microdata," Working papers 05, Former Department of Economics and Public Finance "G. Prato", University of Torino.
    19. Rosario Crinò, 2010. "Service Offshoring and White-Collar Employment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(2), pages 595-632.
    20. Cerina, Fabio & Mureddu, Francesco, 2014. "Is agglomeration really good for growth? Global efficiency, interregional equity and uneven growth," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 9-22.
    21. İ. Akçomak & Lex Borghans & Bas Weel, 2011. "Measuring and Interpreting Trends in the Division of Labour in the Netherlands," De Economist, Springer, vol. 159(4), pages 435-482, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • L24 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Contracting Out; Joint Ventures
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity

    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:wej:wldecn:376. 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: .

    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: Ed Jones (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    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.