Technological Change and Outsourcing: Competing or Complementary Explanations for the Rising Demand for Skills during the 1980s?
This paper combines two of the popular approaches used in the trade versus technology debate: the factor content approach and the cost-share regression across manufacturing industries. The resulting method allows to decompose skill upgrading at the industry level into a component attributed to outsourcing and a residual. Surprisingly, computer investment explains the component attributed to outsourcing better than the residual suggesting that technological change may have contributed to higher disintegration of production already during the 1980s.
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