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A Comparison of the Industrialization Paths for Asian Services Outsourcing Industries, and Implications for Poverty Alleviation


  • Tschang, F. Ted

    (Asian Development Bank Institute)


This paper examines three software and/or information technology enabled services (ITES) industries—two in the early stages of development (in the People’s Republic of China [PRC] and the Philippines) and one mature one (in India). Being latecomers to offshoring work, the PRC and the Philippines have developed this industry in cooperation with multinational enterprises (MNEs). PRC firms have worked with and upgraded within MNEs’ value chains within the PRC market, while the Philippines has relied on MNEs to come in and set up facilities, with domestic firms setting up facilities where lower (knowledge) barriers to entry prevail. The paper also explores the ITES industries’ implications for economic growth and poverty reduction. ITES industries can contribute to overall economic growth and exports, but due to their small size, will generally tend to have more observable impacts on the cities in which they are located. From the limited case data available, it appears that the ITES industries impact on overall employment and other economic sectors to varying degrees, relative to other sectors. As these industries do not help the more impoverished or less educated, they cannot be said to be a solution for the less employable or impoverished, let alone to the problem of rural poverty.

Suggested Citation

  • Tschang, F. Ted, 2011. "A Comparison of the Industrialization Paths for Asian Services Outsourcing Industries, and Implications for Poverty Alleviation," ADBI Working Papers 313, Asian Development Bank Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:adbiwp:0313

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Martin Falk, 2006. "What drives business Research and Development (R&D) intensity across Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(5), pages 533-547.
    2. Suma S. Athreye, 2005. "The Indian software industry and its evolving service capability," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(3), pages 393-418, June.
    3. repec:cdl:ucscec:228624 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Kaushik, P. D. & Singh, Nirvikar, 2004. "Information Technology and Broad-Based Development: Preliminary Lessons from North India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 591-607, April.
    5. Jorge Niosi & F. Ted Tschang, 2009. "The strategies of Chinese and Indian software multinationals: implications for internationalization theory," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(2), pages 269-294, April.
    6. Quibria, M. G. & Ahmed, Shamsun N. & Tschang, Ted & Reyes-Macasaquit, Mari-Len, 2003. "Digital divide: determinants and policies with special reference to Asia," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 811-825, January.
    7. Poonam Gupta & James P. F. Gordon, 2004. "Understanding India’s Services Revolution," IMF Working Papers 04/171, International Monetary Fund.
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    More about this item


    information technology enabled services; industrialization paths; asian services outsourcing Industries; poverty reduction;

    JEL classification:

    • L52 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Industrial Policy; Sectoral Planning Methods
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology

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