Actual and perceived effects of offshoring on economic insecurity: The role of labour market regimes

Despite broad public concern with the effect of firms’ offshoring behaviour on economic insecurity, there is scant research. Most analysis over the past 20 years – widely acknowledged as a period of rapid globalization – has focused on the impact of offshoring on workers depending on whether they are “skilled” or “unskilled”. The main research question has been the relative contribution of trade versus technological change to the rise in wage inequality in many industrialized countries. In this chapter we seek to broaden our understanding of the effect of offshoring on economic insecurity and also to connect the question of economic insecurity to national labour market institutions and to workers’ perceptions of globalization. We shift the focus to the effect of offshoring on the labour share of income rather than on its relative impact on high- and low-skilled workers. The labour share (or one minus the capital share) is affected by firm-level changes in productivity, labour demand and the distribution of value added. It is useful to capture profits and wages in the measure of economic security, since offshoring is driven by the corporations’ pursuit of higher profits and greater flexibility. Moreover, the labour share comprises workers’ earnings and employment, and analysis of the impact of offshoring on economic insecurity should include both.

-contentType:WorkingPaperSeries -contentType:Periodical -contentType:BookSeries -contentType:ReportSeries
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error