Diasporas and Outsourcing: Evidence from oDesk and India

43 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2013

See all articles by Syed Ejaz Ghani

Syed Ejaz Ghani

World Bank

William Kerr

Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit

Christopher Stanton

Harvard Business School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 4, 2013

Abstract

We examine the role of the Indian diaspora in the outsourcing of work to India. Our data are taken from oDesk, the world’s largest online platform for outsourced contracts. Despite oDesk minimizing many of the frictions that diaspora connections have traditionally overcome, diaspora connections still matter on oDesk, with ethnic Indians substantially more likely to choose a worker in India. This higher placement is the result of a greater likelihood of choosing India for the initial contract, due in large part to taste-based preferences, and substantial path dependence in location choices. We further examine wage and performance outcomes of outsourcing as a function of ethnic connections.

Keywords: Diaspora, ethnicity, outsourcing, oDesk, networks, India, South Asia

JEL Classification: F15, F22, J15, J31, J44, L14, L24, L26, L84, M55, O32

Suggested Citation

Ghani, Ejaz and Kerr, William R. and Stanton, Christopher, Diasporas and Outsourcing: Evidence from oDesk and India (April 4, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2245147 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2245147

Ejaz Ghani

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

William R. Kerr

Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

Christopher Stanton (Contact Author)

Harvard Business School ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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