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How Remote is the Offshoring Threat ?

Author

Listed:
  • Keith Head

    (Sauder School of Business [British Columbia])

  • Thierry Mayer
  • John Ries

    (Sauder School of Business [British Columbia])

Abstract

Advances in communication technology make it possible for workers in India to supply business services to head offices located anywhere. This has the potential to put high-wage workers in direct competition with much lower paid Indian workers. Service trade, however, like goods trade, is subject to strong distance effects, implying that the remote supply of services remains limited. We investigate this proposition by deriving a gravity-like equation for service trade and estimating it for a large sample of countries and different categories of service trade. We find that distance costs are high but are declining over time. Our estimates suggest that delivery costs create a significant advantage for local workers relative to competing workers in distant countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Keith Head & Thierry Mayer & John Ries, 2008. "How Remote is the Offshoring Threat ?," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/10143, Sciences Po.
  • Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/10143
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    outsourcing; offshoring; services; distance effects; trade;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions

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