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Alternative Measures of Offshorability: A Survey Approach

  • Alan S. Blinder
  • Alan B. Krueger

This paper reports on a household survey specially designed to measure what we call the "offshorability" of jobs, defined as the ability to perform the work duties from abroad. We develop multiple measures of offshorability, using both self-reporting and professional coders. All the measures find that roughly 25% of U.S. jobs are offshorable. Our three preferred measures agree between 70% and 80% of the time. Furthermore, professional coders appear to provide the most accurate assessments, which is good news because the Census Bureau could collect data on offshorability without adding a single question to the CPS. Empirically, more educated workers appear to hold somewhat more offshorable jobs, and offshorability does not have systematic effects on either wages or the probability of layoff. Perhaps most surprisingly, routine work is no more offshorable than other work.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w15287.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15287.

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Date of creation: Aug 2009
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Publication status: published as Alan S. Blinder & Alan B. Krueger, 2013. "Alternative Measures of Offshorability: A Survey Approach," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(S1), pages S97 - S128.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15287
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  1. Morris M. Kleiner & Alan B. Krueger, 2010. "The Prevalence and Effects of Occupational Licensing," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 48(4), pages 676-687, December.
  2. Jagdish Bhagwati & Alan S. Blinder, 2009. "Offshoring of American Jobs: What Response from U.S. Economic Policy?," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262013320 edited by Benjamin M. Friedman, June.
  3. Katharine G. Abraham & James R. Spletzer & Michael Harper, 2010. "Labor in the New Economy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number abra08-1, October.
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