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The Opening Up of Eastern Europe at 20-Jobs, Skills, and ‘Reverse Maquiladoras’ in Austria and Germany

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  • Marin, Dalia

Abstract

Many people in the European Union fear that Eastern Enlargement leads to major job losses. More recently, these fears about job losses have extended to high skill labor and IT jobs. The paper examines with unique firm level data whether these fears are justified for the two neighboring countries of Eastern Enlargement Austria and Germany. We find that Eastern Enlargement leads to surprising small job losses of less than 0.5 percent of total employment in Germany and of 1.5 percent in Austria, because jobs in Eastern Europe do not compete with jobs in Austria and Germany. Low cost jobs of affiliates in Eastern Europe help Austrian and German firms to stay competitive in an increasingly competitive environment. However, we also find that multinational firms in Austria and Germany are outsourcing skill intensive activities to Eastern Europe taking advantage of cheap abundant skilled labor there. We find that the firms’ outsourcing activities to Eastern Europe are a response to a human capital scarcity in Austria and Germany which has become particularly severe in the 1990s. We indeed find a reverse pattern of ‘Maquiladoras’ emerging with Eastern Enlargement in Austria and Germany compared to what economists have found for the North American Free Trade Agreement. Skilled workers in Austria and Germany are losing from outsourcing. In both countries outsourcing contributes 35 percent and 41 percent, respectively, to changes in relative wages for skilled workers in Austria and Germany. To address the skill exodus to Eastern Europe we suggest liberalizing the movement of high skill labor.

Suggested Citation

  • Marin, Dalia, 2010. "The Opening Up of Eastern Europe at 20-Jobs, Skills, and ‘Reverse Maquiladoras’ in Austria and Germany," Discussion Papers in Economics 11435, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:11435
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Markusen, James R. & Venables, Anthony J., 2000. "The theory of endowment, intra-industry and multi-national trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 209-234, December.
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    4. Brainard, S Lael, 1997. "An Empirical Assessment of the Proximity-Concentration Trade-off between Multinational Sales and Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 520-544, September.
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    6. Fersterer, Josef & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2003. "Are Austrian returns to education falling over time?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 73-89, February.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Marin, Dalia & Schymik, Jan & Tarasov, Alexander, 2014. "Trade in Tasks and the Organization of Firms," Discussion Papers in Economics 21741, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    2. repec:wfo:wstudy:61057 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Thum, Anna-Elisabeth & Roth,Felix, 2010. "The Key Role of Education in the Europe 2020 Strategy," CEPS Papers 3827, Centre for European Policy Studies.
    4. Marin, Dalia & Verdier, Thierry, 2014. "Corporate hierarchies and international trade: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 295-310.
    5. Coricelli, Fabrizio & Ravasan, Farshad R & Wörgötter, Andreas, 2013. "The origins of the German current account surplus: Unbalanced productivity growth and structural change," CEPR Discussion Papers 9527, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Giuseppe Caivano & Nicola D. Coniglio, 2016. "Long-Run Drivers of Current Account Imbalances in the EU: the Role of Trade Openness," SERIES 03-2016, Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza - Università degli Studi di Bari "Aldo Moro", revised May 2016.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    human capital; intra-firm trade; multinationals and jobs; outsourcing to Eastern Europe; R&D policy;

    JEL classification:

    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • L24 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Contracting Out; Joint Ventures
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • P33 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - International Trade, Finance, Investment, Relations, and Aid

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