Alternative Measures of Offshorability: A Survey Approach

41 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2009 Last revised: 1 Oct 2009

See all articles by Alan S. Blinder

Alan S. Blinder

Princeton University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Alan B. Krueger

Princeton University - Industrial Relations Section; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: August 2009

Abstract

This paper reports on a household survey specially designed to measure what we call the "offshorability" of jobs, defined as the ability to perform the work duties from abroad. We develop multiple measures of offshorability, using both self-reporting and professional coders. All the measures find that roughly 25% of U.S. jobs are offshorable. Our three preferred measures agree between 70% and 80% of the time. Furthermore, professional coders appear to provide the most accurate assessments, which is good news because the Census Bureau could collect data on offshorability without adding a single question to the CPS. Empirically, more educated workers appear to hold somewhat more offshorable jobs, and offshorability does not have systematic effects on either wages or the probability of layoff. Perhaps most surprisingly, routine work is no more offshorable than other work.

Suggested Citation

Blinder, Alan S. and Krueger, Alan B., Alternative Measures of Offshorability: A Survey Approach (August 2009). NBER Working Paper No. w15287. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1459588

Alan S. Blinder (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Department of Economics ( email )

Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Alan B. Krueger

Princeton University - Industrial Relations Section ( email )

Princeton, NJ 08544-2098
United States
609-258-4046 (Phone)
609-258-2907 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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