Category Archives: Offshore

Outsourcing, Occupational Restructuring, and Employee Well-Being: Is There a Silver Lining?

Source: Petri Böckerman and Mika Maliranta, Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Vol. 52 no. 4, October 2013
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
This study examines the relationship between outsourcing and various aspects of employee well-being by devoting special attention to the role of occupational restructuring as a conveying mechanism. Using linked employer–employee data, we find that offshoring involves job destruction, especially when the destination is a low-wage country. In such circumstances, staying employees’ job satisfaction is reduced. However, the relationship between outsourcing and employee well-being is not entirely negative. Our evidence also shows that offshoring to high-wage countries stimulates the vertical mobility of employees in affected firms in a manner that improves perceived well-being, particularly in terms of better prospects for promotion.

Offshoring (or Offshore Outsourcing) and Job Loss Among U.S. Workers

Source: Linda Levine, Congressional Research Service, CRS Report for Congress, RL32292, December 17, 2012

Offshoring, also known as offshore outsourcing, is the term that came into use more than a decade ago to describe a practice among companies located in the United States of contracting with businesses beyond U.S. borders to perform services that would otherwise have been provided by in-house employees in white-collar occupations (e.g., computer programmers and systems designers, accounting clerks and accountants). The term is equally applicable to U.S. firms’ offshoring the jobs of blue-collar workers on textile and auto assembly lines, for example, which has been taking place for many decades. The extension of offshoring from U.S. manufacturers to service providers has heightened public policy concerns about the extent of job loss and the adequacy of existing programs to help unemployed workers adjust to the changing mix of jobs located in the United States so they can find new positions…. [This report] begins by briefly examining the development of outsourcing by U.S. companies to provide context for policymakers grappling with the business practices’ latest iteration. It then synthesizes the information (both empirical and anecdotal) released since the early 2000s on offshore outsourcing’s impact on U.S. employment to help policymakers evaluate the adequacy of the nation’s retraining and income support programs for workers displaced by greater global economic integration.

Anti-Outsourcing Bills Would Punish Companies That Send Jobs Overseas

Source: Dave Jamieson, Huffington Post, March 21, 2012

Following the lead of lawmakers on Capitol Hill, several states have proposed legislation that would punish American companies that relocate their customer call centers overseas by making the companies ineligible for government loans or contracts.

The state measures appear to be modeled on a federal bill introduced in the House of Representatives late last year that Democrats argue could slow the number of call-center jobs that have been heading to India and the Philippines for the past decade. Lawmakers in Arizona, Florida and New Jersey have all subsequently proposed similar bills.

Under the federal legislation, American companies that offshore their call-center jobs would lose their federal loan eligibility for a period of five years.

Offshoring Professional Services: Institutions and Professional Control

Source: Kyoung-Hee Yu, Frank Levy, British Journal of Industrial Relations, Volume 48, Issue 4, December 2010
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
We examine the reasons why one might expect it to be more difficult to offshore professional work than manufacturing work in a globalized world. We then provide data on the variations in a specific case — the offshoring of diagnostic radiology from the USA, UK and Singapore. We show that existing theories on the ‘offshorability’ of jobs have not captured how national institutions and occupational regulations continue to define professional work. We then review the question of supply from India’s perspective and report that both macro-institutional and organizational contexts make it complicated for Indian doctors to supply much of this service.

Outsourced Call Centers Return, To U.S. Homes

Source: by CAROLYN BEELER, NPR All Things Considered,  August 25, 2010

 …….. For years, Americans have had their phone calls about credit card bills and broken cell phones handled by people in the Philippines or India. But American firms are starting to bring call centers back to the U.S. — and this time around, they are hiring more people to work in their own homes.

Indian outsourcing firm looks to prison for data entry work

Source: By Iain Thomson, IT News, May 13, 2010 12:56 PM

An Indian outsourcing firm is to run one of its data handling centres in a local prison as part of a new public/private partnership.

Radiant Info Systems has come to a deal with the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh to hire 200 inmates of a state jail to work on data entry, and the processing and transmitting of information.

The Defense Base Act (DBA): The Federally Mandated Workers’ Compensation System for Overseas Government Contractors

Source: Congressional Research Service, July 22, 2009


Many overseas federal contractors are covered by the Defense Base Act (DBA), which mandates that they provide workers compensation insurance for their employees. As the U.S. military has increased operations in Iraq, the size of the DBA program has grown. Since September 2001, there have been 49,472 DBA cases, including 1,584 cases involving the deaths of contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nearly $200 million in cash and medical benefits were paid to DBA claimants in 2008.

Offshoring Research Network

The Offshoring Research Network (ORN) project on offshoring of technical and administrative work was launched in 2004 at Duke University Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), The Fuqua School of Business. Since its launch, ORN has become one of the world’s most respected authorities on research and analysis of offshoring trends. Offshoring refers to the process of sourcing any business functions supporting domestic and global operations abroad, in particular from lower-cost emerging economies (Manning et al., 2008).

Visit the Research page for a list of studies and reports.

State sends flu call jobs to Canada

Source: By RICK
Albany Times
(NY), Friday, May 8,


The state Department of Health has
paid $46,000 to a Canadian company to set up a swine flu hotline, angering state
employee unions.  Callers using a toll-free number will probably be learning
about the latest state developments in the health crisis from someone working
from a call center in the Canadian province of Newfoundland under the deal.

…… Regardless
of whether the calls were in Canada or New York, unions were not happy with the
concept. “There are probably a whole range of things that, with better
management and a more comprehensive approach, public employees could do the job
more effectively,” said Steve Madarasz, spokesman for the Civil Service Employees


Measuring Offshore Outsourcing and Offshoring Problems for Economic Statistics




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Source: Susan N. Houseman, Upjohn Institute Employment Research, January 2009



Although the apparent growth of offshore outsourcing and offshoring of intermediate goods and services has spurred a heated debate overits effects on the U.S. economy and

workers, our ability to assess these impacts is hampered by the limitations of government data.

 ……The Upjohn Institute, in collaboration with the National Academy
of Public Administration, received grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the U.S.

Bureau of Economic Analysis to fund new research and a conference in fall

2009 focusing on measurement problems associated with the growth of outsourcing

and offshoring. The goal of this project is to generate and disseminate a substantial

new body of research on selected measurement problems that previously have received little attention.