I study the effects of service offshoring on white-collar employment, using highly disaggregated occupational data for the U.S.. I present a structural model of the firm’s behavior that allows tractable derivation of labor demand elasticities for highly detailed occupations. I estimate the model using Quasi-Maximum Likelihood, to simultaneously account for the high degree of censoring of the employment variable and the small cross-sectional dimension of the panel. I find that service offshoring is skill-biased, because it raises employment among high-skilled occupations and lowers employment among medium- and low-skilled ones. Within each skill group, service offshoring penalizes tradeable occupations and tends to benefit complex non tradeable jobs.
service offshoring, white-collar occupations, labor demand elasticities, homothetic weak separability, censored demand system estimation
This paper empirically studies the effects of service offshoring on white-collar employment, using data for more than one hundred U.S. occupations. A model of firm behavior based on separability allows to derive the labor demand elasticity with respect to service offshoring for each occupation. Estimation is performed with Quasi-Maximum Likelihood, to account for high degrees of censoring in the employment variable. The estimated elasticities are then related to proxies for the skill level and the degree of tradability of the occupations. Results show that service offshoring increases high skilled employment and decreases medium and low skilled employment. Within each skill group, however, service offshoring penalizes tradable occupations and benefits non-tradable occupations.
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