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

  • Desiree van Welsum
  • Xavier Reif
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    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.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w12799.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12799.

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    Date of creation: Dec 2006
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    Publication status: published as Desireé van Welsum & Xavier Reif, 2009. "We Can Work It Out: The Globalization of ICT-Enabled Services," NBER Chapters, in: International Trade in Services and Intangibles in the Era of Globalization National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12799
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    1. Desirée Van Welsum, 2004. "In Search of ‘Offshoring’: Evidence from U.S. Imports of Services," Birkbeck Working Papers in Economics and Finance 0402, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
    2. 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.
    3. Catherine L. Mann, 2004. "The US Current Account, New Economy Services, and Implications for Sustainability," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(2), pages 262-276, 05.
    4. Nigel Pain & Desirée van Welsum, 2005. "International Production Relocation and Exports of Services," OECD Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2004(1), pages 67-94.
    5. Marin, Dalia, 2004. "A Nation of Poets and Thinkers - Less so with Eastern Enlargement? Austria and Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers 4358, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Messina, Julián, 2004. "Institutions and service employment: a panel study for OECD countries," Working Paper Series 0320, European Central Bank.
    7. Oecd, 2005. "Potential Offshoring of ICT-intensive Using Occupations," OECD Digital Economy Papers 91, OECD Publishing.
    8. Head, Keith & Ries, John, 2002. "Offshore production and skill upgrading by Japanese manufacturing firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 81-105, October.
    9. Oecd, 2006. "The Share of Employment Potentially Affected by Offshoring: An Empirical Investigation," OECD Digital Economy Papers 107, OECD Publishing.
    10. J. Bradford Jensen & Lori G. Kletzer, 2005. "Tradable Services: Understanding the Scope and Impact of Services Outsourcing," Working Paper Series WP05-9, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
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