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Outsourcing and the rise in services

  • Giuseppe Berlingieri

This paper investigates the impact of outsourcing on sectoral reallocation in the U.S. over the period 1947-2007, and on the rise in services in particular. Roughly 40% of the growth of the service sector comes from professional and business services. This is an unusual industry as more than 90% of its output is an intermediate input to other firms, and it is where most of the service outsourcing activity is concentrated. These facts are essential to understanding the structure of the economy: professional and business services have experienced an almost fourfold increase in their forward linkage, the largest change in input-output linkages over the past 60 years. Using a simple gross output accounting framework, I calculate the contribution of the change in the composition of intermediates and their sourcing mode to the reallocation of employment across sectors. I find that the evolution of the input-output structure accounts for up to 33% of the increase in service employment, and professional and business services outsourcing alone contributes almost half of that amount.

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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 51532.

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Length: 63 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:51532
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