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Offshoring and directed technical change

We study the short- and long-run implications of offshoring on innovation, technology adoption, wage and income inequality in a Ricardian model with directed technical change. In our model, profit maximization determines both the extent of offshoring and the direction of technological progress. A fall in the cost of offshoring induces technical change with an ambiguous factor bias. When the initial offshoring cost is high, 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. When the offshoring cost is sufficiently low, instead, further increases in offshoring opportunities induce technical change biased in favor of the unskilled workers and may lower the skill premium. Although offshoring improves the welfare of workers in the East, it may benefit or harm unskilled workers in the West depending on parameters, the level of offshoring and the equilibrium growth rate.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 1362.

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Date of creation: Nov 2012
Date of revision: Jun 2014
Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1362
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