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Winners and Losers: Fragmentation, Trade and Wages Revisited

  • Ingo Geishecker
  • Holger Görg

Our paper investigates the link between international outsourcing and wages utilising a large household panel and combining it with industry level information on industries' outsourcing activities from input-output tables. By doing so we can arguably overcome the potential aggregation bias as well as other shortcomings that affect industry level studies. We find that outsourcing has had a marked impact on wages. Distinguishing three skill categories we find evidence that outsourcing reduced the real wage for workers in the lowest skill categories by up to 1.8% while it increased real wages for high-skilled workers by up to 3.3%. This result is robust to a number of different specifications.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.41040.de/dp385.pdf
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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 385.

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Length: 27 p.
Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp385
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  1. Bernd Fitzenberger, 1999. "International Trade and the Skill Structure of Wages and Employment in West Germany," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 219(1+2), pages 67-89, July.
  2. Hijzen, Alexander, 2003. "Fragmentation, Productivity and Relative Wages in the UK: A General Equilibrium Approach," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 108, Royal Economic Society.
  3. Adrian Wood, 2002. "Globalization and wage inequalities: A synthesis of three theories," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 138(1), pages 54-82, March.
  4. Paul, Catherine J Morrison & Siegel, Donald S, 2001. " The Impacts of Technology, Trade and Outsourcing on Employment and Labor Composition," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(2), pages 241-64, June.
  5. E. Berman & J. Bound & S. Machin, 1997. "Implications of skill-biased technological change: international evidence," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20314, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. Arndt, Sven W., 1997. "Globalization and the open economy," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 71-79.
  7. David Hummels & Jun Ishii & Kei-Mu Yi, 1999. "The nature and growth of vertical specialization in world trade," Staff Reports 72, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  8. Head, Keith & Ries, John, 2002. "Offshore production and skill upgrading by Japanese manufacturing firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 81-105, October.
  9. Robert Feenstra, 2003. "Integration Of Trade And Disintegration Of Production In The Global Economy," Working Papers 986, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  10. Katharine G. Abraham & Susan N. Houseman, 1993. "Earnings Inequality in Germany," NBER Working Papers 4541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Krueger, Alan B. & Pischke, Jörn-Steffen, 1992. "A comparative analysis of East and West German labor markets before and after unification," ZEW Discussion Papers 92-11, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  12. Bob Anderton & Paul Brenton, 1998. "Outsourcing and Low-Skilled Workers in the UK," CSGR Working papers series 12/98, Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation (CSGR), University of Warwick.
  13. Venables, Anthony J., 1999. "Fragmentation and multinational production," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 935-945, April.
  14. Burda, Michael C. & Mertens, Antje, 1999. "Estimating wage losses of displaced workers in Germany," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1999,35, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  15. Eswar Prasad, 2000. "The Unbearable Stability of the German Wage Structure; Evidence and Interpretation," IMF Working Papers 00/22, International Monetary Fund.
  16. Schmidt, Christoph M & Zimmermann, Klaus F, 1991. "Work Characteristics, Firm Size and Wages," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(4), pages 705-10, November.
  17. Paul Beaudry & David Green, 2000. "The Changing Structure of Wages in the US and Germany: What Explains the Differences?," NBER Working Papers 7697, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-38, May.
  19. Falk, Martin & Koebel, Bertrand M, 2002. " Outsourcing, Imports and Labour Demand," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(4), pages 567-86, December.
  20. Robert C. Feenstra & Gene M. Grossman & Douglas A. Irwin (ed.), 1996. "The Political Economy of Trade Policy: Papers in Honor of Jagdish Bhagwati," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061864, June.
  21. Paul Krugman, 1995. "Growing World Trade: Causes and Consequences," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 327-377.
  22. Brown, Charles & Medoff, James, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1027-59, October.
  23. Richard B. Freeman, 1995. "Are Your Wages Set in Beijing?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 15-32, Summer.
  24. Ingo Geishecker, 2002. "Outsourcing and the Demand for Low-skilled Labour in German Manufacturing: New Evidence," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 313, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
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