Offshoring and the onshore composition of tasks and skills

Sascha O. Becker, Karolina Ekholm, Marc Andreas Muendler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


We analyze the relationship between offshoring and the onshore workforce composition in German multinational enterprises (MNEs), using plant data that allow us to discern tasks, occupations, and workforce skills. Offshoring is associated with a statistically significant shift towards more non-routine and more interactive tasks, and with a shift towards highly educated workers. The shift towards highly educated workers is in excess of what is implied by changes in either the task or the occupational composition. Offshoring to low-income countries-with the exception of Central and Eastern European countries-is associated with stronger onshore responses. We find offshoring to predict between 10 and 15% of observed changes in wage-bill shares of highly educated workers and measures of non-routine and interactive tasks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-106
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of International Economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Demand for labor
  • F14
  • F16
  • F23
  • J23
  • J24
  • Linked employer-employee data
  • Multinational enterprises
  • Trade in tasks

Cite this