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Offshoring and the Onshore Composition of Tasks and Skills

47 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2009  

Sascha O. Becker

University of Warwick; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Ifo Institute for Economic Research

Karolina Ekholm

Stockholm School of Economics - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Center for Business and Policy Studies (SNS); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Marc-Andreas Muendler

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: August 2009

Abstract

We analyze the relationship between offshoring and the onshore workforce composition in German multinational enterprises (MNEs), using plant data that allow us to discern tasks, occupations, and workforce skills. Offshoring is associated with a statistically significant shift towards more non-routine and more interactive tasks, and with a shift towards highly educated workers. Moreover, the shift towards highly educated workers is in excess of what is implied by changes in either the task or the occupational composition. Whether offshored activities are located in low-income or high-income countries does not alter the direction of the relationship. We find offshoring to predict between 10 and 15 percent of observed changes in wage-bill shares of highly educated workers and measures of non-routine and interactive tasks.

Keywords: demand for labor, linked employer-employee data, multinational enterprises, trade in tasks

JEL Classification: F14, F16, F23, J23, J24

Suggested Citation

Becker, Sascha O. and Ekholm, Karolina and Muendler, Marc-Andreas, Offshoring and the Onshore Composition of Tasks and Skills (August 2009). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP7391. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1469870

Sascha O. Becker

University of Warwick ( email )

Gibbet Hill Rd.
Coventry, West Midlands CV4 8UW
United Kingdom

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://sobecker.de

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Ifo Institute for Economic Research

Munich
Germany

Karolina Ekholm (Contact Author)

Stockholm School of Economics - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 6501
Sveavagen 65
S-113 83 Stockholm
Sweden
+46 8 736 9220 (Phone)
+46 8 313 207 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom

Center for Business and Policy Studies (SNS)

Skoldungagatan 2, Box 5629
S-114 86 Stockholm
Sweden

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Marc-Andreas Muendler

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Economics ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0508
United States
858-534-4799 (Phone)
858-534-7040 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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