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Immigration, offshoring and American jobs

Listed author(s):
  • Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano

    ()

    (Universita’ Bocconi, Department of Economics
    CEPR
    Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM)
    Centro Studi Luca d’Agliano (LdA))

  • Giovanni Peri

    ()

    (University of California, Davis - Department of Economics
    NBER
    Centro Studi Luca d’Agliano (LdA))

  • Greg C. Wright

    ()

    (University of California, Davis - Department of Economics)

How many "American jobs" have U.S.-born workers lost due to immigration and offshoring? Or, alternatively, is it possible that immigration and offshoring, by promoting cost-savings and enhanced efficiency in firms, have spurred the creation of jobs for U.S. natives? We consider a multi-sector version of the Grossman and Rossi-Hansberg (2008) model with a continuum of tasks in each sector and we augment it to include immigrants with heterogeneous productivity in tasks. We use this model to jointly analyze the impact of a reduction in the costs of offshoring and of the costs of immigrating to the U.S. The model predicts that while cheaper offshoring reduces the share of natives among less skilled workers, cheaper immigration does not, but rather reduces the share of offshored jobs instead. Moreover, since both phenomena have a positive "cost-savings" effect they may leave unaffected, or even increase, total native employment of less skilled workers. Our model also predicts that offshoring will push natives toward jobs that are more intensive in communication-interactive skills and away from those that are manual and routine intensive. We test the predictions of the model on data for 58 U.S. manufacturing industries over the period 2000-2007 and find evidence in favor of a positive productivity effect such that immigration has a positive net effect on native employment while offshoring has no effect on it. We also find some evidence that offshoring has pushed natives toward more communication-intensive tasks while it has pushed immigrants away from them.

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Paper provided by National Bank of Belgium in its series Working Paper Research with number 205.

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Length: 58 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2010
Handle: RePEc:nbb:reswpp:201010-205
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  1. Gene M. Grossman & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2008. "Trading Tasks: A Simple Theory of Offshoring," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1978-1997, December.
  2. Giovanni Peri & Chad Sparber, 2008. "Task Specialisation, Immigration and Wages," Development Working Papers 252, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
  3. Pol Antràs & Luis Garicano & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2005. "Offshoring in a Knowledge Economy," NBER Working Papers 11094, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Ebenstein, Avraham & Harrison, Ann & McMillan, Margaret & Phillips, Shannon, 2011. "Estimating the impact of trade and offshoring on American workers using the current population surveys," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5750, The World Bank.
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  7. Giorgio Barba Navaretti & Giuseppe Bertola & Alessandro Sembenelli, 2008. "Offshoring and Immigrant Employment: Firm-level Theory and Evidence," Development Working Papers 245, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
  8. Adolfo Barajas & Ralph Chami & Dalia Hakura & Peter Montiel, 2010. "Workers' Remittances and the Equilibrium Real Exchange Rate: Theory and Evidence," Center for Development Economics 2010-02, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  9. Alan Manning, 2004. "We Can Work It Out: the Impact of Technological Change on the Demand for Low Skill Workers," CEP Discussion Papers dp0640, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  10. William W. Olney, 2008. "Offshoring, Immigration, and the Native Wage Distribution," Department of Economics Working Papers 2010-10, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised Apr 2012.
  11. Card, David, 2001. "Immigrant Inflows, Native Outflows, and the Local Labor Market Impacts of Higher Immigration," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 22-64, January.
  12. John DiNardo & David Card, 2000. "Do Immigrant Inflows Lead to Native Outflows?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 360-367, May.
  13. Jonathan Vogel & Arnaud Costinot, 2008. "Matching and Inequality in the World Economy," 2008 Meeting Papers 879, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  14. Antecol, Heather & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Trejo, Stephen, 2001. "Immigration Policy and the Skills of Immigrants to Australia, Canada, and the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 363, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Pol Antràs, 2003. "Firms, Contracts, and Trade Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1375-1418.
  16. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2008. "Immigration and National Wages: Clarifying the Theory and the Empirics," NBER Working Papers 14188, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Nicholas Sly, 2012. "International Productivity Differences, Trade and the Distributions of Factor Endowments," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(4), pages 740-757, 09.
  18. Chiswick, Barry R. & Lee, Yew Liang & Miller, Paul W., 2005. "Immigrant Earnings: A Longitudinal Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 1750, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Andri Chassamboulli & Theodore Palivos, 2010. "“Give me your Tired, your Poor,” so I can Prosper: Immigration in Search Equilibrium," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 12-2010, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
  20. Alan Manning, 2004. "We can work it out: the impact of technological change on the demand for low skill workers," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19948, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  21. Sascha O. Becker & Karolina Ekholm & Marc-Andreas Muendler, 2009. "Offshoring and the Onshore Composition of Tasks and Skills," IAW Discussion Papers 55, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).
  22. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri & Greg. C. Wright, 2010. "Immigration, Offshoring and American Jobs," Development Working Papers 298, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
  23. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2007. "Lousy and Lovely Jobs: The Rising Polarization of Work in Britain," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 118-133, February.
  24. Alan S. Blinder, 2009. "How Many US Jobs Might be Offshorable?," World Economics, World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 10(2), pages 41-78, April.
  25. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1999. "The Impact of Outsourcing and High-Technology Capital on Wages: Estimates For the United States, 1979–1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 907-940.
  26. Giovanni Peri, 2009. "The Effect of Immigration on Productivity: Evidence from US States," NBER Working Papers 15507, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Kristin F. Butcher & John DiNardo, 1998. "The Immigrant and Native-born Wage Distributions: Evidence from United States Censuses," NBER Working Papers 6630, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 9755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Ann Harrison & Margaret McMillan, 2009. "Offshoring Jobs? Multinationals and US Manufacturing Employment," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0741, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  30. Blanchard, Emily & Willmann, Gerald, 2013. "Trade, education, and the shrinking middle class," Kiel Working Papers 1831, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  31. Monte, Ferdinando, 2011. "Skill bias, trade, and wage dispersion," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 202-218, March.
  32. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1335-1374.
  33. Franziska Ohnsorge & Daniel Trefler, 2004. "Sorting It Out: International Trade and Protection With Heterogeneous Workers," NBER Working Papers 10959, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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