Measuring Tradable Services and the Task Content of Offshorable Services Jobs

J. Bradford Jensen and Lori G. Kletzer

in Labor in the New Economy

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780226001432
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226001463 | DOI:
Measuring Tradable Services and the Task Content of Offshorable Services Jobs

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This chapter discusses services offshoring, which refers to the migration of jobs across national borders, mostly from rich countries to poor ones, with imported products and activities flowing back to the United States. A measure of tradability is described, built from common notions of job characteristics related to offshorability. A selection of tradable occupations do indeed have characteristics of offshorability, including Internet-enabled, high-information content, no-face-to-face customer contact. The calculated index of offshorability offers strong potential for understanding jobs (tasks) at risk. The two measures of tradability and offshorability offer a combined potential to do the same. The chapter concludes with the expectation that, as technology and policy allow for more trade in these activities, the United States should gain world market share in these activities, not lose it.

Keywords: services offshoring; tradability; United States; jobs; trade

Chapter.  11106 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Microeconomics

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