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We Can Work It Out - The Globalisation of ICT-enabled Services

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  • Desiree van Welsum
  • Xavier Reif

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between the share of employment potentially affected by offshoring and economic and structural factors, including trade in business services and foreign direct investment (FDI), using simple descriptive regressions for a panel of OECD economies between 1996 and 2003. It tests whether there are differences in the factors driving the shares of potentially offshorable "non-clerical" and clerical occupations in total employment. The results show a positive statistical association between the share of both "non-clerical" and clerical occupations potentially affected by offshoring and exports of business services, and a negative association with imports of business services. However, the results also show important differences between different types of occupations as they behave differently over time, and are affected differently by variables included in the model. In particular, net outward manufacturing FDI, ICT investment, and the relative size of the services sector all have a positive association with the share of potentially offshorable "non-clerical" occupations, but are negative with clerical occupations. Union density has a positive statistical association with clerical occupations but negative with "non-clerical" occupations. These results have important implications for policy, as they clearly suggest that different factors are driving the performance of different occupational groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Desiree van Welsum & Xavier Reif, 2006. "We Can Work It Out - The Globalisation of ICT-enabled Services," NBER Working Papers 12799, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12799
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Charlie Karlsson & Gunther Maier & Michaela Trippl & Iulia Siedschlag & Gavin Murphy, 2010. "ICT and Regional Economic Dynamics: A Literature Review," JRC Working Papers JRC59920, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    2. Beretta, Silvio & Targetti Lenti, Renata, 2011. "“India in the Outsourcing/Offshoring Process: A Western Perspective” - L’India nel processo di outsourcing/offshoring: un punto di vista occidentale," Economia Internazionale / International Economics, Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato Agricoltura di Genova, vol. 64(3), pages 269-296.
    3. Clair Brown & Julia Lane & Timothy Sturgeon, 2013. "Workers' Views of the Impact of Trade on Jobs," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 1-21, January.
    4. Martin Falk & Fei Peng, 2013. "The increasing service intensity of European manufacturing," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(15-16), pages 1686-1706, December.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • F2 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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