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The Labor Market Effects of Offshoring by U.S. Multinational Firms

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  • Brian K. Kovak
  • Lindsay Oldenski
  • Nicholas Sly

Abstract

We use firm-level data on U.S. multinationals to show how offshoring affects domestic employment within and across firms. We introduce a new instrument for offshoring: Bilateral Tax Treaties, which reduce the cost of offshore activities. We find substantial heterogeneity in effects. A 10 percent increase in affiliate employment drives a 1.3 percent increase in employment at the U.S. parent firm, with smaller effects at the industry and regional levels. In contrast, offshoring by vertical multinationals drives declining employment among non-multinationals in the same industry, and firms opening new affiliates exhibit smaller domestic employment growth than those expanding existing affiliates.

Suggested Citation

  • Brian K. Kovak & Lindsay Oldenski & Nicholas Sly, 2017. "The Labor Market Effects of Offshoring by U.S. Multinational Firms," NBER Working Papers 23947, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23947
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    Cited by:

    1. Kässi, Otto, 2022. "The Labor-market Effects of Service Offshoring: A Synthetic Control Approach with High-dimensional Microdata," ETLA Working Papers 97, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    2. Cezar, Rafael & Gigout, Timothée & Tripier, Fabien, 2020. "Cross-border investments and uncertainty: Firm-level evidence," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 108(C).
    3. ADACHI Daisuke & SAITO Yukiko, 2020. "Multinational Production and Labor Share," Discussion papers 20012, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    4. Javier Cravino & Andrei A. Levchenko, 2017. "Multinational Firms and International Business Cycle Transmission," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(2), pages 921-962.
    5. Andrew B. Bernard & Teresa C. Fort & Valerie Smeets & Frederic Warzynski, 2020. "Heterogeneous Globalization: Offshoring and Reorganization," NBER Working Papers 26854, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Dorn, David & Levell, Peter, 2021. "Trade and Inequality in Europe and the US," CEPR Discussion Papers 16780, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Benjamin G. Hyman, 2022. "Can Displaced Labor Be Retrained? Evidence from Quasi-Random Assignment to Trade Adjustment Assistance," Working Papers 22-05, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    8. Boehm, Christoph E. & Flaaen, Aaron & Pandalai-Nayar, Nitya, 2020. "Multinationals, Offshoring, and the Decline of U.S. Manufacturing," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).
    9. Katarzyna Bilicka, 2021. "Labor Market Consequences of Antitax Avoidance Policies," Upjohn Working Papers 21-354, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    10. René BELDERBOS & IKEUCHI Kenta & FUKAO Kyoji & KIM Young Gak & KWON Hyeog Ug, 2022. "What Do R&D Spillovers from Universities and Firms Contribute to Productivity? Plant level productivity and technological and geographic proximity in Japan," Discussion papers 22106, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    11. Nilsson Hakkala, Katariina & Huttunen, Kristiina, 2016. "Worker-Level Consequences of Import Shocks," IZA Discussion Papers 10033, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Gigout, Timothee, 2019. "Firm dynamics in an global and uncertain economy," MPRA Paper 96569, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 16 Oct 2019.
    13. Stepanok, Ignat, 2018. "FDI and unemployment, a growth perspective," IAB-Discussion Paper 201811, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    14. Michael Landesmann & Sandra M. Leitner, 2018. "Immigration and Offshoring," wiiw Working Papers 156, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    15. Nilsson Hakkala, Katariina & Huttunen, Kristiina, 2016. "Worker-level consequences of import shocks," Working Papers 74, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    16. Ron Hira, 2020. "Outsourcing: A Case of Shared Mental Models in Conflict," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 73(3), pages 410-435, August.
    17. Alexis Grimm & Mina Kim, 2016. "FDI and the Task Content of Domestic Employment for U.S. Multinationals," BEA Working Papers 0136, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
    18. Luo, Changyuan & Luo, Qin & Zeng, Shuai, 2022. "Bilateral tax agreement and FDI inflows: Evidence from Hong Kong investment in the Mainland China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • F66 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Labor
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General

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