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We Can Work It Out: The Globalization of ICT-Enabled Services

In: International Trade in Services and Intangibles in the Era of Globalization

  • Desireé van Welsum
  • Xavier Reif

This paper examines the relationship between the share of employment potentially affected by offshoring and economic and structural factors, including trade in business services and foreign direct investment (FDI), using simple descriptive regressions for a panel of OECD economies between 1996 and 2003. It tests whether there are differences in the factors driving the shares of potentially offshorable "non-clerical" and clerical occupations in total employment. The results show a positive statistical association between the share of both "non-clerical" and clerical occupations potentially affected by offshoring and exports of business services, and a negative association with imports of business services. However, the results also show important differences between different types of occupations as they behave differently over time, and are affected differently by variables included in the model. In particular, net outward manufacturing FDI, ICT investment, and the relative size of the services sector all have a positive association with the share of potentially offshorable "non-clerical" occupations, but are negative with clerical occupations. Union density has a positive statistical association with clerical occupations but negative with "non-clerical" occupations. These results have important implications for policy, as they clearly suggest that different factors are driving the performance of different occupational groups.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Marshall Reinsdorf & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2009. "International Trade in Services and Intangibles in the Era of Globalization," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number rein09-1, October.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 11613.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:11613
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
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    1. Oecd, 2006. "The Share of Employment Potentially Affected by Offshoring: An Empirical Investigation," OECD Digital Economy Papers 107, OECD Publishing.
    2. Desirée Van Welsum, 2004. "In Search of ‘Offshoring’: Evidence from U.S. Imports of Services," Birkbeck Working Papers in Economics and Finance 0402, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
    3. ?gel de la Fuente & Rafael Dom?ech, . "Human Capital In Growth Regressions: How Much Difference Does Data Quality Make?," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 446.00, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    4. Oecd, 2005. "Potential Offshoring of ICT-intensive Using Occupations," OECD Digital Economy Papers 91, OECD Publishing.
    5. de la Fuente, Angel & Doménech, Rafael, 2002. "Educational Attainment in the OECD, 1960-95," CEPR Discussion Papers 3390, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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