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The Political Consequences of Offshoring


Rommel, Tobias; Walter, Stefanie (2014). The Political Consequences of Offshoring. In: American Political Science Association. Annual Meeting, Washington, 28 August 2014 - 31 August 2014, 35.

Abstract

Firms’ increasing possibilities to offshore jobs to other countries have created new risks as well as new opportunities for workers across the world. We analyze the political consequences of this development in advanced capitalist democracies. Building on new developments in trade theory, we argue that low‑skilled individuals in easily offshorable occupations face increasing labor market risks, whereas highly educated individuals mainly benefit from the opportunities generated by the increasing possibility to organize production processes internationally. This affects workers’ policy and partisan preferences. Since job offshorability increases low‑skilled workers’ demand for social and economic protection, it increases their propensity to vote for left parties. Among high‑skilled workers, higher levels of job offshorability should increase their their tendency to vote for liberal and center parties. In contrast, offshorability should not be an important issue for partisan preferences for rightwing and green parties. We test our argument with individual‑level data from multiple waves of the European Social Survey for a sample of 25 countries and find evidence in favor of our hypotheses. This suggests that globalization has the potential to directly affect democratic policymaking in capitalist democracies.

Abstract

Firms’ increasing possibilities to offshore jobs to other countries have created new risks as well as new opportunities for workers across the world. We analyze the political consequences of this development in advanced capitalist democracies. Building on new developments in trade theory, we argue that low‑skilled individuals in easily offshorable occupations face increasing labor market risks, whereas highly educated individuals mainly benefit from the opportunities generated by the increasing possibility to organize production processes internationally. This affects workers’ policy and partisan preferences. Since job offshorability increases low‑skilled workers’ demand for social and economic protection, it increases their propensity to vote for left parties. Among high‑skilled workers, higher levels of job offshorability should increase their their tendency to vote for liberal and center parties. In contrast, offshorability should not be an important issue for partisan preferences for rightwing and green parties. We test our argument with individual‑level data from multiple waves of the European Social Survey for a sample of 25 countries and find evidence in favor of our hypotheses. This suggests that globalization has the potential to directly affect democratic policymaking in capitalist democracies.

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Additional indexing

Other titles:Offshoring and Partisan Preferences in Multi-Party Systems
Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), not refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Language:English
Event End Date:31 August 2014
Deposited On:31 Dec 2014 07:58
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 09:21
Publisher:s.n.

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