We Can Work It Out - The Globalisation of ICT-enabled Services
This paper examines the relationship between the share of employment potentially affected by offshoring and economic and structural factors, including trade in business services and foreign direct investment (FDI), using simple descriptive regressions for a panel of OECD economies between 1996 and 2003. It tests whether there are differences in the factors driving the shares of potentially offshorable "non-clerical" and clerical occupations in total employment. The results show a positive statistical association between the share of both "non-clerical" and clerical occupations potentially affected by offshoring and exports of business services, and a negative association with imports of business services. However, the results also show important differences between different types of occupations as they behave differently over time, and are affected differently by variables included in the model. In particular, net outward manufacturing FDI, ICT investment, and the relative size of the services sector all have a positive association with the share of potentially offshorable "non-clerical" occupations, but are negative with clerical occupations. Union density has a positive statistical association with clerical occupations but negative with "non-clerical" occupations. These results have important implications for policy, as they clearly suggest that different factors are driving the performance of different occupational groups.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed and arguments employed in this paper do not necessarily reflect the official views of the Organisation or of the governments of its member countries. This paper draws on a larger body of work published by the OECD as it becomes available on: http://www.oecd.org/sti/offshoring. We thank Nigel Pain from the OECD Economics Department for his help and advice in preparing this paper. Comments from participants at the CRIW-NBER Conference on International Services Flows (28-29 April 2006, Bethesda, Maryland, US), and in particular Marshall Reinsdorf and our discussant Lori Kletzer, are also gratefully acknowledged. This paper was prepared while Xavier Reif was visiting the OECD. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Desireé van Welsum & Xavier Reif, 2009. "We Can Work It Out: The Globalization of ICT-Enabled Services," NBER Chapters, in: International Trade in Services and Intangibles in the Era of Globalization National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.