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International Outsourcing and Labour with Sector-specific Human Capital

  • Kurt Kratena

    (WIFO)

This paper attempts to quantify the impact of outsourcing on production patterns and the labour market in a two-sector specific-factors model with skilled labour (specific factor) and unskilled labour (mobile factor). Outsourcing can be compared to the case, where trade liberalisation leads to trade in final goods and a change in relative prices. In the latter case a downward pressure on the wage rate for skilled labour in one sector and a wage rise for skilled labour in the other sector indicate significant adjustment costs, whereas with outsourcing an outcome of rising wage rates for skilled labour in both sectors is feasible. The full impact of outsourcing depends on the relative weight of the "factor savings" and the "cost savings" effect. The negative impact on the unskilled wage rate is similar in both cases and depends on the macroeconomic relevance of the respective shocks.

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Paper provided by WIFO in its series WIFO Working Papers with number 272.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 26 Apr 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wfo:wpaper:y:2006:i:272
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  1. Donald R. Davis, 1996. "Does European Unemployment Prop Up American Wages?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1752, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Wilhelm Kohler, 2003. "The Distributional Effects of International Fragmentation," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 4(1), pages 89-120, February.
  3. Kohler, Wilhelm, 1991. "Income distribution and labor market effects of Austrian pre- and post-Tokyo-round tariff protection," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 139-154, January.
  4. David Greenaway & Michelle Haynes & Chris Milner, 2002. "Adjustment, employment characteristics and intra-industry trade," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 138(2), pages 254-276, June.
  5. Neary, J Peter, 1978. "Short-Run Capital Specificity and the Pure Theory of International Trade," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 88(351), pages 488-510, September.
  6. Arndt, Sven W., 1997. "Globalization and the open economy," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 71-79.
  7. Wilhelm Kohler, 2004. "Aspects of International Fragmentation," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(5), pages 793-816, November.
  8. Kohler, Wilhelm, 2001. "A specific-factors view on outsourcing," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 31-53, March.
  9. Deardorff, A.V., 1998. "Fragmentation Across Cones," Working Papers 427, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  10. Marius Brülhart & Robert Elliott, 2002. "Labour-market effects of intra-industry trade: Evidence for the United Kingdom," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 138(2), pages 207-228, June.
  11. Mary Lovely & Douglas Nelson, 2002. "Intra-industry trade as an indicator of labor market adjustment," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 138(2), pages 179-206, June.
  12. Egger, Hartmut & Falkinger, Josef, 2003. "The distributional effects of international outsourcing in a 2 x 2 production model," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 189-206, August.
  13. Brecher, Richard A., 1974. "Optimal commercial policy for a minimum-wage economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 139-149, May.
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