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Offshoring, Mismatch, and Labor Market Outcomes

David Arseneau and Brendan Epstein ()

MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: We study the role of labor market mismatch in the adjustment to a trade liberalization that results in the offshoring of high-tech production. Our model features two-sided heterogeneity in the labor market: high- and low-skilled workers are matched in a frictional labor market with high- and low-tech frms. Mismatch employment occurs when high-skilled workers choose to accept a less desirable job in the low-tech industry. The main result is that this type of job displacement is actually benefcial for the labor market in the country doing the o¤shoring. The reason is that mismatch allows this economy to reallocate domestic high-skilled labor across both high- and low-tech industries. In doing so, this reallocation dampens both the increase in the aggregate unemployment rate and the decline in aggregate wages that come as a consequence of shifting domestic production abroad. From a policy perspective, this result is perhaps counter-intuitive because it suggests that some degree of job dislocation is actually desirable as it helps facilitate adjustment in the labor market following a trade liberalization.

Keywords: search and matching; unemployment; vacancies; trade. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E24 F16 J63 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dge, nep-int and nep-mac
Date: 2017
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Working Paper: Offshoring, Mismatch, and Labor Market Outcomes (2014) Downloads
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