IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper

Outsourcing, Unemployment and Welfare Policy

  • Christian Keuschnigg

    ()

  • Evelyn Ribi

    ()

Outsourcing of labor intensive activities challenges the welfare state and undermines the protection of low-skilled workers. The stylized facts are that profits are concentrated among the high-skilled, involuntary unemployment is mostly among the low-skilled, and private unemployment insurance is missing. This paper analyzes the effectiveness of redistribution and insurance policies when heterogeneous firms can outsource labor intensive components to low-wage economies. The main results are: (i) Social insurance props up wages, leading to more outsourcing and unskilled unemployment. (ii) Redistribution from the skilled to the working poor acts as a wage subsidy to unskilled workers, thereby reducing gross wages, outsourcing and unemployment. (iii) A trend to outsourcing, induced by lower transport costs of imported components, depresses low-skilled wages, raises unemployment, and boosts profits. The resulting polarization of society and the increased income risk of unskilled workers emphasize the social gains from redistribution and insurance and thus call for a more active role of the welfare state in more open economies.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://ux-tauri.unisg.ch/RePEc/usg/dp2007/DP-41-Ke.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen in its series University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2007 with number 2007-41.

as
in new window

Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:usg:dp2007:2007-41
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Dufourstrasse 50, CH - 9000 St.Gallen

Phone: +41 71 224 23 25
Fax: +41 71 224 31 35
Web page: http://www.seps.unisg.ch/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Antras, Pol & Helpman, Elhanan, 2004. "Global Sourcing," Scholarly Articles 3196327, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Hartmut Egger & Peter Egger, 2003. "Outsourcing and skill-specific employment in a small economy: Austria after the fall of the Iron Curtain," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(4), pages 625-643, October.
  3. Olivier J. Blanchard & Jean Tirole, 2008. "The Joint Design of Unemployment Insurance and Employment Protection: A First Pass," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(1), pages 45-77, 03.
  4. Rodrik, Dani, 1996. "Why do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1388, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Hartmut Egger & Udo Kreickemeier, 2005. "International Fragmentation: Boon or Bane for Domestic Employment?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1595, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Eckstein, Zvi & van den Berg, Gerard J., 2007. "Empirical labor search: A survey," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 136(2), pages 531-564, February.
  7. Arthur J. Hosios, 1990. "On The Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 279-298.
  8. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Hartmut Egger & Udo Kreickemeier, 2009. "Firm Heterogeneity And The Labor Market Effects Of Trade Liberalization," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(1), pages 187-216, 02.
  10. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
  11. Robin Boadway & Manuel Leite-Monteiro & Maurice Marchand & Pierre Pestieau, 2002. "Social Insurance and Redistribution," Working Papers 1004, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  12. Boone, J. & Bovenberg, A.L., 2002. "The Optimal Taxation of UnskilIed Labor with Job Search and Social Assistance," Discussion Paper 2002-57, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  13. Fishe, Raymond P H, 1982. "Unemployment Insurance and the Reservation Wage of the Unemployed," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(1), pages 12-17, February.
  14. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1996. "Globalization, Outsourcing, and Wage Inequality," NBER Working Papers 5424, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Guesnerie, Roger, 2001. " Second Best Redistributive Policies: The Case of International Trade," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 3(1), pages 15-25.
  16. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 1978. "On the Size Distribution of Business Firms," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 508-523, Autumn.
  17. Gruber, Jonathan, 1997. "The Consumption Smoothing Benefits of Unemployment Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 192-205, March.
  18. Carl Davidson & Steven Matusz, 2005. "Trade Liberalization and Compensation," International Trade 0503008, EconWPA.
  19. Christian Keuschnigg, 2008. "Exports, foreign direct investment, and the costs of corporate taxation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 460-477, August.
  20. Angela Triguero, & Carmen Díaz Mora, . "Why do some firms contract out production?," Studies on the Spanish Economy 232, FEDEA.
  21. Herwig Immervoll & Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Claus Thustrup Kreiner & Emmanuel Saez, 2005. "Welfare Reform in European Countries: A Microsimulation Analysis," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 28, OECD Publishing.
  22. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
  23. Pol Antràs, 2005. "Incomplete Contracts and the Product Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1054-1073, September.
  24. Helmuth Cremer & Pierre Pestieau, 1996. "Redistributive taxation and social insurance," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 281-295, July.
  25. Krueger, Alan B. & Meyer, Bruce D., 2002. "Labor supply effects of social insurance," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 33, pages 2327-2392 Elsevier.
  26. David Spector, 1999. "Is it Possible to Redistribute the Gains from Trade Using Income Taxation?," Working papers 99-13, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  27. Helpman, Elhanan, 2006. "Trade, FDI and the Organization of Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 5589, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  28. Davidson, Carl & Martin, Lawrence & Matusz, Steven, 1999. "Trade and search generated unemployment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 271-299, August.
  29. Razin, A. & Sadka, E. & Swagel, P., 1998. "Tax Burden and Migration: a Political Economy Theory and Evidence," Papers 15-98, Tel Aviv.
  30. Anderton, Bob & Brenton, Paul, 1999. "Outsourcing and Low-Skilled Workers in the UK," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(4), pages 267-85, October.
  31. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2007. "The Welfare State and the Forces of Globalization," CESifo Working Paper Series 1925, CESifo Group Munich.
  32. Hijzen, Alexander & Görg, Holger & Hine, Robert C., 2004. "International Outsourcing and the Skill Structure of Labour Demand in the United Kingdom," IZA Discussion Papers 1249, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  33. Falk, Martin & Wolfmayr, Yvonne, 2008. "Services and materials outsourcing to low-wage countries and employment: Empirical evidence from EU countries," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 38-52, March.
  34. Martin Feldstein & James M. Poterba, 1982. "Unemployment Insurance and Reservation Wages," NBER Working Papers 1011, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. Lancaster, Tony & Chesher, Andrew, 1983. "An Econometric Analysis of Reservation Wages," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(6), pages 1661-76, November.
  36. Blundell, Richard, 2006. "Earned income tax credit policies: Impact and optimality: The Adam Smith Lecture, 2005," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 423-443, August.
  37. Davidson, Carl & Matusz, Steven J. & Shevchenko, Andrei, 2008. "Globalization and firm level adjustment with imperfect labor markets," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 295-309, July.
  38. van den Berg, G., 1988. "Search behaviour, transitions to nonparticipation and the duration of unemployment," Research Memorandum 01393d23-5b79-44ba-b971-d, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  39. N. Gregory Mankiw & Stephen P. Zeldes, 1990. "The Consumption of Stockholders and Non-Stockholders," NBER Working Papers 3402, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  40. Ekholm, Karolina & Hakkala, Katariina, 2005. "The Effect of Offshoring on Labor Demand: Evidence from Sweden," Working Paper Series 654, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  41. Raj Chetty, 2005. "A General Formula for the Optimal Level of Social Insurance," NBER Working Papers 11386, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  42. Carmen Diaz-Mora, 2008. "What factors determine the outsourcing intensity? A dynamic panel data approach for manufacturing industries," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(19), pages 2509-2521.
  43. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Integration versus Outsourcing in Industry Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 85-120.
  44. Emmanuel Saez, 2002. "Optimal Income Transfer Programs: Intensive versus Extensive Labor Supply Responses," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 1039-1073.
  45. Vanessa Strauss-Kahn, 2004. "The Role of Globalization in the Within-Industry Shift Away from Unskilled Workers in France," NBER Chapters, in: Challenges to Globalization: Analyzing the Economics, pages 209-234 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  46. Edward N. Wolff, 1998. "Recent Trends in the Size Distribution of Household Wealth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 131-150, Summer.
  47. Baily, Martin Neil, 1978. "Some aspects of optimal unemployment insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 379-402, December.
  48. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
  49. Hartmut Egger & Peter Egger, 2000. "Outsourcing and skill-specific employment in a small economy: Austria and the fall of the Iron Curtain," Economics working papers 2000-24, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  50. C. Díaz-Mora & A. Triguero-Cano, 2012. "Why do some firms contract out production? Evidence from firm-level panel data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(13), pages 1631-1644, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:usg:dp2007:2007-41. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joerg Baumberger)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.