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Tradable Services: Understanding the Scope and Impact of Services Outsourcing

  • J. Bradford Jensen

    ()

    (Institute for International Economics)

  • Lori G. Kletzer

    ()

    (University of California, Santa Cruz)

We develop a new empirical approach to identify tradable service activities. Contrary to conventional views of service activities as nontradable, we find a significant number of service industries and occupations that appear tradable and substantial employment in these tradable activities. Workers employed in tradable service activities differ from those employed in tradable manufacturing and nontradable services. Workers in tradable service activities have higher skill levels and are paid higher wages than manufacturing workers or workers in nontradable service activities. In general, we find little evidence that tradable service activities have lower employment growth than other service activities. However, evidence suggests lower employment growth at the lowest end of the skill distribution. There is also evidence of higher worker displacement rates in tradable services. Workers displaced from tradable service activities are different from displaced manufacturing workers: Displaced tradable service workers have higher skills and higher predisplacement earnings than displaced manufacturing workers.

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Paper provided by Peterson Institute for International Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number WP05-9.

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Date of creation: Sep 2005
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Handle: RePEc:iie:wpaper:wp05-9
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  1. Ashish Arora & Alfonso Gambardella, 2005. "The Globalization of the Software Industry: Perspectives and Opportunities for Developed and Developing Countries," NBER Chapters, in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 5, pages 1-32 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Gilles Duranton & Henry G. Overman, 2002. "Testing for localisation using micro-geographic data," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20071, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Lori G. Kletzer, 1998. "Job Displacement," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 115-136, Winter.
  4. Mary Amiti & Shang-Jin Wei, 2005. "Fear of service outsourcing: is it justified?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(42), pages 308-347, 04.
  5. Amiti, Mary & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2004. "Fear of Outsourcing: Is It Justified?," CEPR Discussion Papers 4719, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Jagdish Bhagwati & Arvind Panagariya, 2004. "The Muddles over Outsourcing," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(4), pages 93-114, Fall.
  7. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter K. Schott, 2002. "Survival of the Best Fit: Competition from Low Wage Countries and the (Uneven) Growth of US Manufacturing Plants," NBER Working Papers 9170, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Edward L. Glaeser & Glenn Ellison, 1999. "The Geographic Concentration of Industry: Does Natural Advantage Explain Agglomeration?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 311-316, May.
  9. Lori G. Kletzer & Robert E. Litan, 2001. "A Prescription to Relieve Worker Anxiety," Policy Briefs PB01-02, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  10. Paul A. Samuelson, 2004. "Where Ricardo and Mill Rebut and Confirm Arguments of Mainstream Economists Supporting Globalization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 135-146, Summer.
  11. Ellison, G. & Glaeser, E.L., 1994. "Geographic Concentration in U.S. Manufacturing Industries: A Dartboard Approach," Working papers 94-27, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  12. Bardhan, Ashok Deo & Kroll, Cynthia, 2003. "The New Wave of Outsourcing," Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics, Research Reports qt02f8z392, Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics, UC Berkeley.
  13. Lori G. Kletzer, 2001. "Job Loss from Imports: Measuring the Costs," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 110.
  14. Catherine L. Mann, 2003. "Globalization of IT Services and White Collar Jobs: The Next Wave of Productivity Growth," Policy Briefs PB03-11, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
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