Gueyon Kim
Dohyeon Lee

This paper examines the labor market consequences of offshoring. We use the Danish employer-employee matched data together with the newly constructed skill measures to evaluate the effect of offshoring on wages and reallocation of workers within offshorable occupations. Offshoring reduces domestic worker wages; and increases the probability of reallocation away from the high-productivity firms to the low-productivity ones. The least-skilled workers further face a greater risk of switching out to a less competitive sector. On the firm-side, offshoring improves the average skill of in-house workers at a lower cost. By estimating a worker-firm matching model, we examine the mechanisms of how offshoring affects labor market inequality and further assess the quantitative importance of various competing hypotheses such as technological change and the expansion of higher education, in addition to offshoring. We find substantially different effects: technology mainly increases the inequality between firms in terms of worker skill quality and average wages, while offshoring mitigates this rising trend.

Publication Type
Working Paper
File Description
First version, June 3, 2020
JEL Codes
F15: Trade, Economic Integration
F16: Trade and Labor Market Interactions
F23: International Factor Movements and International Business, Multinational Firms, International Business
J21: Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
J24: Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
J31: Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
segregation by skill
between-firm inequality