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'A Nation of Poets and Thinkers' - Less So with Eastern Enlargement? Austria and Germany

  • Marin, Dalia

Many people in the European Union fear that Eastern Enlargement will lead to major job losses. More recently, these fears about job losses have extended to high skill labor and IT jobs. The paper examines with new 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, 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 the most skill intensive activities to Eastern Europe taking advantage of cheap abundant skilled labor in Eastern Europe. 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. Corporations' outsourcing of skill intensive firm activity to Eastern Europe has helped to ease the human capital crisis in both countries. We find that high skilled jobs transferred to Eastern Europe account for 10 percent of Germany's and 48 percent of Austria's supply of university graduates in the 1990s. We then discuss what can be done to address the skill exodus to Eastern Europe. We show that R&D subsidies do not work in economies with a skill crisis and we suggest to liberalize the movement of high skill labor with Eastern Enlargement.

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Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers in Economics with number 329.

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Date of creation: Mar 2004
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Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:329
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  1. Marin, Dalia & Verdier, Thierry, 2012. "Globalization and the empowerment of talent," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 209-223.
  2. Fersterer, Josef & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 1999. "Are Austrian Returns to Education Falling Over Time?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2313, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Helmut Hofer & Karl Pichelmann & Andreas-Ulrich Schuh, 2001. "Price and quantity adjustments in the Austrian labour market," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(5), pages 581-592.
  4. Hummels, David & Ishii, Jun & Yi, Kei-Mu, 2001. "The nature and growth of vertical specialization in world trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 75-96, June.
  5. Marin, Dalia & Lorentowicz, Andzelika & Raubold, Alexander, 2002. "Ownership, Capital or Outsourcing: What Drives German Investment to Eastern Europe?," Discussion Papers in Economics 72, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  6. Marin, Dalia, 1995. "Learning and Dynamic Comparative Advantage: Lessons from Austria's Postwar Pattern of Growth for Eastern Europe," Discussion Papers in Economics 610, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  7. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 2001. "Integration vs. Outsourcing in Industry Equilibrium," Papers 2001-7, Tel Aviv.
  8. 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 520-44, September.
  9. Braconier, Henrik & Ekholm, Karolina, 1999. "Swedish Multinationals and Competition from High- and Low-Wage Locations," CEPR Discussion Papers 2323, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. 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.
  11. S. Lael Brainard, 1993. "A Simple Theory of Multinational Corporations and Trade with a Trade-Off Between Proximity and Concentration," NBER Working Papers 4269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. Helpman, Elhanan, 1984. "A Simple Theory of International Trade with Multinational Corporations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(3), pages 451-71, June.
  14. Feenstra, R.C. & Hanson, G.H., 1995. "Foreign Investment, Outsourcing and Relative Wages," Department of Economics 95-14, California Davis - Department of Economics.
  15. Bourguignon, Francois & Coyle, Diane & Fernàndez, Raquel & Giavazzi, Francesco & Marin, Dalia & O’Rourke, Kevin & Portes, Richard & Seabright, Paul & Venables, Anthony & Verdier, Thierry & Winters, L., . "Making Sense of Globalization: A Guide to the Economic Issues," Monographs in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics, number 20240.
  16. Gordon H. Hanson & Raymond J. Mataloni, Jr. & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2001. "Expansion Strategies of U.S. Multinational Firms," NBER Working Papers 8433, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Elhanan Helpman & David T. Coe, 1993. "International RandD Spillovers," IMF Working Papers 93/84, International Monetary Fund.
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