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What Do We Know about Contracting Out in the United States? Evidence from Household and Establishment Surveys

Author

Listed:
  • Matthew Dey

    (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

  • Susan Houseman

    () (W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research)

  • Anne Polivka

    (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Abstract

A variety of evidence points to significant growth in domestic contracting out over the last two decades, yet the phenomenon is not well documented. In this paper, we pull together data from various sources to shed light on the extent of and trends in domestic outsourcing, the occupations in which it has grown, and the industries engaging in outsourcing for the employment services sector, which has been a particularly important area of domestic outsourcing. In addition, we examine evidence of contracting out of selected occupations to other sectors. We point to many gaps in our knowledge on trends in domestic outsourcing and its implications for employment patterns and to inconsistencies across data sets in the information that is available. We recommend steps to improve data in this area.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew Dey & Susan Houseman & Anne Polivka, 2009. "What Do We Know about Contracting Out in the United States? Evidence from Household and Establishment Surveys," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 09-157, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:upj:weupjo:09-157
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Elizabeth Weber Handwerker & James R. Spletzer, 2016. "The Role of Establishments and the Concentration of Occupations in Wage Inequality," Research in Labor Economics,in: Inequality: Causes and Consequences, volume 43, pages 167-193 Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    2. Zimmerman, Paul R., 2010. "Deterrence from self-protection measures in the ‘market model’ of crime: dynamic panel data estimates from employment in private security occupations," MPRA Paper 26187, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    contracting out; outsourcing; employment services; houseman;

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • L84 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Personal, Professional, and Business Services
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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