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Offshoring and relative labor demand from a task perspective


  • Hogrefe, Jan


This paper provides new evidence on how offshoring shifts relative labor demand for tasks at the industry level. A novel theoretical mechanism, based on sorting of heterogeneous workers into occupations with task dependent offshoring cost, guides estimation. Cost shares of tasks are linked to offshoring in a panel estimation using German data for 1998-2007. It is shown that offshoring shifts home country relative labor demand towards more complex tasks with higher relocation cost. This demand shift holds when controlling for an industry's skill composition and is particularly strong for offshoring to non-OECD countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Hogrefe, Jan, 2013. "Offshoring and relative labor demand from a task perspective," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-067, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:13067

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Wright, Greg C., 2014. "Revisiting the employment impact of offshoring," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 63-83.
    7. Firpo, Sergio & Fortin, Nicole M. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2011. "Occupational Tasks and Changes in the Wage Structure," IZA Discussion Papers 5542, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Acemoglu, Daron & Autor, David, 2011. "Skills, Tasks and Technologies: Implications for Employment and Earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    9. Gartner, Hermann, 2005. "The imputation of wages above the contribution limit with the German IAB employment sample," FDZ Methodenreport 200502_en, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    10. A. D. Roy, 1951. "Some Thoughts On The Distribution Of Earnings," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 135-146.
    11. Franziska Ohnsorge & Daniel Trefler, 2007. "Sorting It Out: International Trade with Heterogeneous Workers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(5), pages 868-892, October.
    12. Thomas Kemeny & David Rigby, 2012. "Trading away what kind of jobs? Globalization, trade and tasks in the US economy," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 148(1), pages 1-16, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Boddin, Dominik & Henze, Philipp, 2015. "International trade and the occupational mix in manufacturing: Evidence from german micro data," Economics Working Papers 2015-05, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
    2. Fries, Jan, 2014. "Age and skill bias of trade liberalisation? Heterogeneous employment effects of EU Eastern Enlargement," ZEW Discussion Papers 14-113, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    3. Peter S. Eppinger, 2014. "Exploiting the Potential for Services Offshoring: Evidence from German Firms," IAW Discussion Papers 109, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).
    4. Tobias Brändle & Andreas Koch, 2013. "Outsourcing Potentials and International Tradability of Jobs - Evidence from German Micro-Level Data," IAW Discussion Papers 93, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).
    5. Tobias Brändle & Andreas Koch, 2015. "Offshoreability and wages. Evidence from German task data," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 42(2), pages 189-216, June.
    6. Goel, Manisha, 2017. "Inequality Between and Within Skill Groups: The Curious Case of India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 153-176.
    7. Tobias Brändle, 2015. "Is offshoring linked to offshoring potential? Evidence from German linked employer–employee data," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 151(4), pages 735-766, November.
    8. bernhard Boockmann, 2014. "Offshoring Potential and Employment Dynamics," IAW Discussion Papers 111, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).
    9. Tobias Brändle & Andreas Koch, 2014. "Offshoring and Outsourcing Potentials - Evidence from German Micro-Level Data," IAW Discussion Papers 110, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).

    More about this item


    trade; offshoring; tasks; relative labor demand;

    JEL classification:

    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • F66 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Labor
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand

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