Outsourcing and Offshoring: Pushing the European Model Over the Hill, Rather Than Off the Cliff!
Offshoring and offshore outsourcing is increasingly affecting the EU-15, both in the manufacturing and services sectors. While no official statistics exist for the scope of the phenomenon, industry experts and press surveys point to a relatively limited extent of perhaps up to 2 percent of the workforce as affected. Offshoring and offshore outsourcing, similar to other trade, creates both domestic winners and losers. The EU-15 countries have the potential to become net beneficiaries from offshoring and offshore outsourcing, if they go ahead and implement the EU Lisbon Agenda with respect to labor market reforms and worker-skill upgrading. Furthermore, EU governments should take steps to promote the mobility of the workforce by increasingly linking social benefits to the willingness to move for work, thereby combating their archipelago of high unemployment enclaves, and to reform EU regional aid by shifting it from infrastructure spending to human capital investment.
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