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Dispelling Some Myths About Offshoring

  • Harrison, Ann E.
  • McMillan, Margaret S.

Critics of globalization claim that firms are being driven to shift employment abroad by the prospects of cheaper labor. Yet the evidence for this, beyond anecdotes, is slim. In this article, we review evidence on whether firms that do business in foreign countries are substituting foreign for domestic labor. We review the results of previous studies and present new firm-level evidence showing that, in fact, increases in employment in low-income countries do hurt employment at home. The premise that foreign expansion of U.S. multinationals encourages employment at home is a myth, but the domestic employment costs of offshoring are probably fairly small in magnitude.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/15615/1/MPRA_paper_15615.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 15615.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Publication status: Published in Academy of Management Perspectives 4.20(2006): pp. 6-22
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:15615
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Web page: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de

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  1. Andrew Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter Schott, 2003. "Survival of the best fit: exposure to low-wage countries and the (uneven) growth of US manufacturing plants," IFS Working Papers W03/12, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. Muendler, Marc-Andreas & Becker, Sascha O., 2006. "Margins of Multinational Labor Substitution," IZA Discussion Papers 2131, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Gregory Mankiw, N. & Swagel, Phillip, 2006. "The politics and economics of offshore outsourcing," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(5), pages 1027-1056, July.
  4. Robert Feenstra & Gordon Hanson, 2001. "Global Production Sharing and Rising Inequality: A Survey of Trade and Wages," NBER Working Papers 8372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1996. "Globalization, Outsourcing, and Wage Inequality," NBER Working Papers 5424, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines Jr., 2005. "Foreign Direct Investment and Domestic Economic Activity," NBER Working Papers 11717, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. John W. Budd & Matthew J.Slaughter, 2000. "Are Profits Shared Across Borders? Evidence on International Rent Sharing," NBER Working Papers 8014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. S. Lael Brainard & David A. Riker, 1997. "Are U.S. Multinationals Exporting U.S. Jobs?," NBER Working Papers 5958, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Harrison, Ann & Hanson, Gordon, 1999. "Who gains from trade reform? Some remaining puzzles," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 125-154, June.
  10. Harrison, Ann, 2005. "Has Globalization Eroded Labor’s Share? Some Cross-Country Evidence," MPRA Paper 39649, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Jagdish Bhagwati & Arvind Panagariya & T. N. Srinivasan, 2004. "The Muddles over Outsourcing," International Trade 0408004, EconWPA.
  12. 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.
  13. Currie, Janet & Harrison, Ann E, 1997. "Sharing the Costs: The Impact of Trade Reform on Capital and Labor in Morocco," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages S44-71, July.
  14. Amiti, Mary & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2006. "Service Offshoring, Productivity and Employment: Evidence from the US," CEPR Discussion Papers 5475, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. David A. Riker & S. Lael Brainard, 1997. "U.S. Multinationals and Competition from Low Wage Countries," NBER Working Papers 5959, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Ann E. Harrison & Margaret S. McMillan, 2006. "Outsourcing Jobs? Multinationals and US Employment," NBER Working Papers 12372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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