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Multinational corporations, outsourcing, and American wage divergence

Author: Matthew J Slaughter; National Bureau of Economic Research.
Publisher: Cambridge, MA : National Bureau of Economic Research, ©1995.
Series: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), woring paper no. 5253.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Document : National government publication   Computer File : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Abstract: Many economists studying America's wage divergence in the 1980's have concluded that its primary cause was a within-industry shift in relative labor demand toward the more-skilled. Following the modeling framework and empirical methods developed in Slaughter (1993), in this paper I try to determine the extent to which outsourcing by multinational corporations contributed to this labor-demand shift. To do  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Slaughter, Matthew J. (Matthew Jon).
Multinational corporations, outsourcing, and American wage divergence.
Cambridge, MA : National Bureau of Economic Research, ©1995
(OCoLC)647134897
Material Type: Document, Government publication, National government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Computer File, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Matthew J Slaughter; National Bureau of Economic Research.
OCLC Number: 33428976
Notes: "September 1995."
Description: 44 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm.
Series Title: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), woring paper no. 5253.
Responsibility: Matthew J. Slaughter.

Abstract:

Abstract: Many economists studying America's wage divergence in the 1980's have concluded that its primary cause was a within-industry shift in relative labor demand toward the more-skilled. Following the modeling framework and empirical methods developed in Slaughter (1993), in this paper I try to determine the extent to which outsourcing by multinational corporations contributed to this labor-demand shift. To do this, I use data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) on U.S. manufacturing multinationals in the 1980's. My main finding is that the data are inconsistent with U.S. multinationals having outsourced heavily in the 1980's. First, I construct a set of stylized facts about the employment, investment, and production patterns of these firms. I find that most of these facts are inconsistent with widespread outsourcing. Second, to test more rigorously whether these firms substitute between U.S. and foreign production labor I estimate their factor-price elasticities of demand in a translog-cost-function specification. I find that home and foreign production labor at best seem to be weak price substitutes and in fact may be price complements. Taken together, these findings indicate that multinational outsourcing contributed very little to rising wage inequality.

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