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South-North Integration, Outsourcing and Skills

  • Michael Landesmann

    ()

    (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)

  • Robert Stehrer

    ()

    (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)

This paper focuses on the increasing role played by lower- and medium-income countries in the global economy. In particular we look at the role of outsourcing in the process of trade integration of these countries. Further we discuss the impact of these integration patterns upon labour markets with a focus on the position of different skill groups of workers. The paper provides descriptive evidence on the changes in trade patterns over the past decades, distinguishing between product types (primary, processed, parts and final goods) and the sectoral structure (i.e. industry groups according to skill intensity). The paper reveals that there is an upward pressure in the skill content of exports to the EU in particular from low- and medium-income economies. The observed changes in skill content and in the shares of imports by these economies particularly for processed inputs and parts production are interpreted in a catching-up framework combined with outsourcing High-income countries lose market shares mainly in processed inputs and parts but less so in final goods. With respect to country groups, especially the new EU member states account for a higher share of imports in EU Northern economies together with the fact that these countries shifted their export structure towards parts. EU Southern countries are more strongly present in processed inputs whereas the Rest of the World countries tend to shift exports towards final goods imports. This confirms the hypothesis that geographic proximity is important for outsourcing activities.

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File URL: http://www.wiiw.ac.at/south-north-integration-outsourcing-and-skills-dlp-672.pdf
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Paper provided by The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw in its series wiiw Research Reports with number 353.

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Length: 34 pages including 11 Tables and 6 Figures
Date of creation: Feb 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as wiiw Research Report
Handle: RePEc:wii:rpaper:rr:353
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  1. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Integration Versus Outsourcing In Industry Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 85-120, February.
  2. Bob Anderton & Paul Brenton, 1998. "Outsourcing and Low-Skilled Workers in the UK," CSGR Working papers series 12/98, Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation (CSGR), University of Warwick.
  3. Irwin, Douglas A, 1996. "The United States in a New Global Economy? A Century's Perspective," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 41-46, May.
  4. Stephen Machin & John Van Reenen, 1998. "Technology And Changes In Skill Structure: Evidence From Seven Oecd Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1215-1244, November.
  5. Michael A. Landesmann & Robert Stehrer, 2004. "Income Distribution, Technical Change and the Dynamics of International Economic Integration," International Trade 0411005, EconWPA.
  6. Peter Egger & Robert Stehrer, 2003. "International Outsourcing and the Skill--Specific Wage Bill in Eastern Europe," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(1), pages 61-72, January.
  7. Pol Antras & Elhanan Helpman, 2003. "Global Sourcing," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2005, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1995. "Foreign Direct Investment and Relative Wages: Evidence from Mexico's Maquiladoras," NBER Working Papers 5122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jose Campa & Linda S. Goldberg, 1997. "The Evolving External Orientation of Manufacturing Industries: Evidence from Four Countries," NBER Working Papers 5919, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1998. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed The Labor Market?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1169-1213, November.
  11. Robert C. Feenstra, . "Integration Of Trade And Disintegration Of Production In The Global Economy," Department of Economics 98-06, California Davis - Department of Economics.
  12. Landesmann, Michael A. & Stehrer, Robert, 2001. "Convergence patterns and switchovers in comparative advantage," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 399-423, December.
  13. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1996. "Globalization, Outsourcing, and Wage Inequality," NBER Working Papers 5424, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Jörn Kleinert, 2003. "Growing Trade in Intermediate Goods: Outsourcing, Global Sourcing, or Increasing Importance of MNE Networks?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(3), pages 464-482, 08.
  15. Gene M. Grossman & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2008. "Trading Tasks: A Simple Theory of Offshoring," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1978-97, December.
  16. Hummels, David & Ishii, Jun & Yi, Kei-Mu, 2001. "The nature and growth of vertical specialization in world trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 75-96, June.
  17. David Hummels & Dana Rapoport & Kei-Mu Yi, 1998. "Vertical specialization and the changing nature of world trade," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Jun, pages 79-99.
  18. Robert Feenstra & Gordon Hanson, 2001. "Global Production Sharing and Rising Inequality: A Survey of Trade and Wages," NBER Working Papers 8372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Geishecker, Ingo & Görg, Holger, 2004. "Winners and Losers: Fragmentation, Trade and Wages Revisited," IZA Discussion Papers 982, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  20. Paul, Catherine J Morrison & Siegel, Donald S, 2001. " The Impacts of Technology, Trade and Outsourcing on Employment and Labor Composition," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(2), pages 241-64, June.
  21. Berman, Eli & Bound, John & Griliches, Zvi, 1994. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U.S. Manufacturing: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufactures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 367-97, May.
  22. Abramovitz, Moses, 1986. "Catching Up, Forging Ahead, and Falling Behind," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(02), pages 385-406, June.
  23. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Michael A. Landesmann & Robert Stehrer, 2002. "Evolving Competitiveness of CEEC’s in an Enlarged Europe," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 92(1), pages 23-88, January-F.
  25. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1999. "The Impact Of Outsourcing And High-Technology Capital On Wages: Estimates For The United States, 1979-1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 907-940, August.
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