IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Offshoring and Directed Technical Change

  • Daron Acemoglu
  • Gino Gancia
  • Fabrizio Zilibotti

To study the short-run and long-run implications on wage inequality, we introduce directed technical change into a Ricardian model of offshoring. A unique final good is produced by combining a skilled and an unskilled product, each produced from a continuum of intermediates (tasks). Some of these tasks can be transferred from a skill-abundant West to a skill-scarce East. Profit maximization determines both the extent of offshoring and technological progress. Offshoring induces skill-biased technical change because it increases the relative price of skill intensive products and induces technical change favoring unskilled workers because it expands the market size for technologies complementing unskilled labor. In the empirically more relevant case, starting from low levels, an increase in offshoring opportunities triggers a transition with falling real wages for unskilled workers in the West, skill-biased technical change and rising skill premia worldwide. However, when the extent of offshoring becomes sufficiently large, further increases in offshoring induce technical change now biased in favor of unskilled labor because offshoring closes the gap between unskilled wages in the West and the East, thus limiting the power of the price effect fueling skill-biased technical change. The unequalizing impact of offshoring is thus greatest at the beginning. Transitional dynamics reveal that offshoring and technical change are substitutes in the short run but complements in the long run. Finally, though offshoring improves the welfare of workers in the East, it may benefit or harm unskilled workers in the West depending on elasticities and the equilibrium growth rate.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w18595.pdf
Download Restriction: Access to the full text is generally limited to series subscribers, however if the top level domain of the client browser is in a developing country or transition economy free access is provided. More information about subscriptions and free access is available at http://www.nber.org/wwphelp.html. Free access is also available to older working papers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18595.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Dec 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18595
Note: ITI POL
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.orgEmail:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Michael T. Kiley, 1997. "The supply of skilled labor and skill-based technological progress," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1997-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. David E. Weinstein & Christian Broda, 2004. "Globalization And The Gains From Variety," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 327, Econometric Society.
  3. Suqin Ge & Dennis Tao Yang, 2014. "Changes In China'S Wage Structure," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 300-336, 04.
  4. Arnaud Costinot & Jonathan Vogel, 2009. "Matching and Inequality in the World Economy," NBER Working Papers 14672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Acemoglu, Daron & Gancia, Gino & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2012. "Competing engines of growth: Innovation and standardization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(2), pages 570-601.e3.
  6. Chu, Angus C. & Cozzi, Guido & Furukawa, Yuichi, 2012. "From China with love: Effects of the Chinese economy on skill-biased technical change in the US," MPRA Paper 40555, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Su Wang & Jonathan Vogel & Arnaud Costinot, 2011. "An Elementary Theory of Global Supply Chains," 2011 Meeting Papers 95, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Julian di Giovanni & Andrei A. Levchenko & Jing Zhang, 2013. "The global welfare impact of China: Trade integration and technological change," Economics Working Papers 1388, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  9. Song, Zheng Michael & Storesletten, Kjetil & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2009. "Growing like China," CEPR Discussion Papers 7149, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Egger, Hartmut & Kreickemeier, Udo & Wrona, Jens, 2013. "Offshoring domestic jobs," University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance 50, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.
  11. Paolo Epifani & Gino Gancia, 2008. "The Skill Bias of World Trade," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(530), pages 927-960, 07.
  12. David H. Autor & David Dorn & Gordon H. Hanson, 2012. "The China Syndrome: Local Labor Market Effects of Import Competition in the United States," NBER Working Papers 18054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Acemoglu, D., 1997. "Why Do New Technologies Complement Skills? Directed Technical Change and Wage Inequality," Working papers 97-14, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  14. Gino Gancia & Andreas Müller & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2010. "Structural development accounting," Economics Working Papers 1249, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Feb 2011.
  15. Diego A. Comin & William Easterly & Erick Gong, 2008. "Was the Wealth of Nations Determined in 1000 B.C.?," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-052, Harvard Business School.
  16. Antonio Ciccone & Giovanni Peri, 2005. "Long-Run Substitutability Between More and Less Educated Workers: Evidence from U.S. States, 1950-1990," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(4), pages 652-663, November.
  17. Naghavi, Alireza & Ottaviano, Gianmarco, 2006. "Offshoring and Product Innovation," CEPR Discussion Papers 6008, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Hillberry, Russell & Hummels, David, 2013. "Trade Elasticity Parameters for a Computable General Equilibrium Model," Handbook of Computable General Equilibrium Modeling, Elsevier.
  19. Gancia, Gino & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2005. "Horizontal Innovation in the Theory of Growth and Development," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 3, pages 111-170 Elsevier.
  20. Gene M. Grossman & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2008. "Trading Tasks: A Simple Theory of Offshoring," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1978-97, December.
  21. Fabrizio Zilibotti & Gino Gancia, 2009. "Technological Change and the Wealth of Nations," 2009 Meeting Papers 499, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  22. Nicholas Bloom & Mirko Draca & John Van Reenen, 2011. "Trade Induced Technical Change? The Impact of Chinese Imports on Innovation, IT and Productivity," NBER Working Papers 16717, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Ariel Burstein & Jonathan Vogel, 2010. "Globalization, Technology, and the Skill Premium: A Quantitative Analysis," NBER Working Papers 16459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Krugman, Paul, 1979. "A Model of Innovation, Technology Transfer, and the World Distribution of Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(2), pages 253-66, April.
  25. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2008. "Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Revising the Revisionists," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 300-323, May.
  26. Robert C. Feenstra & J. Bradford Jensen, 2012. "Evaluating Estimates of Materials Offshoring from U.S. Manufacturing," NBER Working Papers 17916, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Jonathan Vogel & Ariel Burstein, 2012. "International trade, technology, and the skill premium," 2012 Meeting Papers 664, Society for Economic Dynamics.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18595. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.