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Labor market effects of outsourcing under industrial interdependence


Egger, H; Egger, P (2005). Labor market effects of outsourcing under industrial interdependence. International Review of Economics and Finance, 14(3):349-363.

Abstract

The consequences of international outsourcing in traditional models of trade are already well understood. However, with regard to empirical research there seem to be still some important shortcomings. Empirical studies on the labor market effects of outsourcing are mainly based on the same techniques that have been used for years. In terms of the adopted econometric specifications, one assumption is typical and – as we will show – critical in this regard. Practically all studies we are aware of assume independence between industries and neglect any spillover and feedback effects across industries. In fact, this is at odds with multi-sector general equilibrium models of trade. It is this paper's focus to relax this restrictive assumption and to suggest the use of different econometric methods. We consider national input–output linkages and cross industrial flows of workers as two important channels of inter-industrial spillovers in labor market effects. We focus on these transmission channels in an Austrian panel data set of 21 two-digit industries in the 1990s and find that industrial interdependencies induce a multiplier effect for changes in industry-specific variables such as international outsourcing. Disregarding spillover effects, therefore, leads to a substantial underestimation of the labor market implications of international outsourcing.

The consequences of international outsourcing in traditional models of trade are already well understood. However, with regard to empirical research there seem to be still some important shortcomings. Empirical studies on the labor market effects of outsourcing are mainly based on the same techniques that have been used for years. In terms of the adopted econometric specifications, one assumption is typical and – as we will show – critical in this regard. Practically all studies we are aware of assume independence between industries and neglect any spillover and feedback effects across industries. In fact, this is at odds with multi-sector general equilibrium models of trade. It is this paper's focus to relax this restrictive assumption and to suggest the use of different econometric methods. We consider national input–output linkages and cross industrial flows of workers as two important channels of inter-industrial spillovers in labor market effects. We focus on these transmission channels in an Austrian panel data set of 21 two-digit industries in the 1990s and find that industrial interdependencies induce a multiplier effect for changes in industry-specific variables such as international outsourcing. Disregarding spillover effects, therefore, leads to a substantial underestimation of the labor market implications of international outsourcing.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:2005
Deposited On:30 Apr 2008 07:51
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:23
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1059-0560
Publisher DOI:10.1016/j.iref.2004.12.006
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-2452

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