Global Engagement and the Occupational Structure of Firms

58 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2014 Last revised: 17 Jun 2014

See all articles by Carl Davidson

Carl Davidson

Michigan State University - Department of Economics

Fredrik Heyman

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)

Steven J. Matusz

Michigan State University - Department of Economics

Fredrik Sjöholm

Lund University School of Economics and Management; Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)

Susan Chun Zhu

Michigan State University - Department of Economics

Date Written: May 28, 2014

Abstract

Engagement in foreign markets can have an impact on firm organization and on the type of occupations that a firm needs. We examine the effect of globalization on the occupational mix using detailed Swedish data that cover all firms and a representative sample of the labor force for 1997-2005. We find a robust relationship between a firm’s degree of international integration and its occupational mix. Multinationals, which are the most globally engaged firms, have a distribution of occupations skewed toward the more skilled. Non-multinational exporters have a distribution of occupations less skewed toward skilled compared to multinationals, but more skewed toward skilled occupations compared to Swedish non-exporters (which are the least globally engaged). Moreover, firms tend to have an even more skill intensive distribution of occupations when they mainly export to far away markets, or when they export differentiated goods. Our results are little changed (1) when we control for firm size, productivity, capital intensity, and firm age, (2) when we control for offshoring and R&D expenditures; (3) when we use alternative methods to rank occupations, or (4) when we conduct alternative robustness tests. In addition, the results are very similar for manufacturing and non-manufacturing, and for foreign and Swedish multinationals. We interpret our results using a decomposition motivated by recent theoretical models of selection into exporting and FDI.

Suggested Citation

Davidson, Carl and Heyman, Fredrik and Matusz, Steven J. and Sjöholm, Fredrik and Chun Zhu, Susan, Global Engagement and the Occupational Structure of Firms (May 28, 2014). IFN Working Paper No. 1026. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2449260 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2449260

Carl Davidson

Michigan State University - Department of Economics ( email )

25 C Marshall-Adams Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824
United States
517-355-7756 (Phone)
517-432-1068 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.msu.edu/~ec/faculty/davidson/davidson.html

Fredrik Heyman (Contact Author)

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://www.ifn.se

Steven J. Matusz

Michigan State University - Department of Economics ( email )

Department of Economics
486 West Circle Drive
East Lansing, MI 48824
United States
517-353-8719 (Phone)
517-432-1068 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://econ.msu.edu/faculty/matusz/index.php

Fredrik Sjöholm

Lund University School of Economics and Management ( email )

P.O Box 7080
Lund
Sweden

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

Susan Chun Zhu

Michigan State University - Department of Economics ( email )

214 Marshall Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824
United States
517-355-9647 (Phone)
517-432-1068 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.msu.edu/~ec/faculty/zhu/zhu.html

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