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Offshoring tasks, yet creating jobs?

Listed author(s):
  • Kohler, Wilhelm
  • Wrona, Jens

The policy debate views offshoring as job destruction. Theoretical models of offshoring mostly assume full employment. We develop a model of task trade that allows for equilibrium unemployment. In this model, there are two margins of adjustment. At the extensive margin, moving tasks offshore destroys jobs. At the intensive margin, due to higher productivity of labor in domestic tasks it creates jobs. Exploring these conditions in detail, we identify the potential of non-monotonic adjustment: Early stages of offshoring always lead to higher unemployment, while later stages may entail net job creation. We highlight this potential through numerical simulations.

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Paper provided by University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences in its series University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance with number 12.

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Date of creation: 2011
Handle: RePEc:zbw:tuewef:12
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  1. Alexander Hijzen & Holger Görg & Robert C. Hine, 2004. "International Outsourcing and the Skill Structure of Labour Demand in the United Kingdom," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 437, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Edward E Leamer & Michael Storper, 2001. "The Economic Geography of the Internet Age," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 32(4), pages 641-665, December.
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  5. Christian Keuschnigg & Evelyn Ribi, 2007. "Outsourcing, Unemployment and Welfare Policy," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2007 2007-41, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
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  8. Gregory Mankiw, N. & Swagel, Phillip, 2006. "The politics and economics of offshore outsourcing," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(5), pages 1027-1056, July.
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  12. Ingo Geishecker & Holger Görg, 2008. "Winners and losers: a micro-level analysis of international outsourcing and wages," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 41(1), pages 243-270, February.
  13. Mary Amiti & Shang-Jin Wei, 2004. "Fear of Service Outsourcing; Is It Justified?," IMF Working Papers 04/186, International Monetary Fund.
  14. Robert C. Feenstra, 2010. "Offshoring in the Global Economy: Microeconomic Structure and Macroeconomic Implications," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262013835, September.
  15. repec:pri:cepsud:119blinder is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Grossman, Gene M. & Rossi-Hansberg, Esteban, 2011. "Task trade between similar countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5819, The World Bank.
  17. Becker, Sascha O. & Ekholm, Karolina & Muendler, Marc-Andreas, 2013. "Offshoring and the onshore composition of tasks and skills," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 91-106.
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  20. Jagdish Bhagwati & Arvind Panagariya & T. N. Srinivasan, 2004. "The Muddles over Outsourcing," International Trade 0408004, EconWPA.
  21. Wilhelm Kohler, 2004. "Aspects of International Fragmentation," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(5), pages 793-816, November.
  22. Deardorff, Alan V., 2006. "Comment on Mankiw and Swagel, "The politics and economics of offshore outsourcing"," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(5), pages 1057-1061, July.
  23. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Prat, Julien & Schmerer, Hans-Jörg, 2009. "Trade and Unemployment: What Do the Data Say?," IZA Discussion Papers 4184, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  24. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-444, June.
  25. 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.
  26. Wright, Greg C., 2014. "Revisiting the employment impact of offshoring," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 63-83.
  27. Mitra, Devashish & Ranjan, Priya, 2010. "Offshoring and unemployment: The role of search frictions labor mobility," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 219-229, July.
  28. Gene M. Grossman & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2006. "The rise of offshoring: it's not wine for cloth anymore," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 59-102.
  29. Wilhelm Kohler, 2004. "International outsourcing and factor prices with multistage production," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(494), pages 166-185, 03.
  30. Alexandra Spitz-Oener, 2006. "Technical Change, Job Tasks, and Rising Educational Demands: Looking outside the Wage Structure," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 235-270, April.
  31. Hartmut Egger & Udo Kreickemeier, 2005. "International Fragmentation: Boon or Bane for Domestic Employment?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1595, CESifo Group Munich.
  32. Mary Amiti & Shang-Jin Wei, 2009. "Service Offshoring and Productivity: Evidence from the US," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(2), pages 203-220, 02.
  33. Paul A. Samuelson, 2004. "Where Ricardo and Mill Rebut and Confirm Arguments of Mainstream Economists Supporting Globalization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 135-146, Summer.
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