Labor Events and Resources Blog

Monday, January 30, 2006

New NBER Paper on Offshoring

Service Offshoring and Productivity: Evidence from the United States
Mary Amiti, Shang-Jin Wei
NBER Working Paper No. 11926
Issued in January 2006

The practice of sourcing service inputs from overseas suppliers has been growing in response to new technologies that have made it possible to trade in some business and computing services that were previously considered non-tradable. This paper estimates the effects of offshoring on productivity in US manufacturing industries between 1992 and 2000, using instrumental variables estimation to address the potential endogeneity and errors in measurement of offshoring. It finds that service offshoring has a significant positive effect on productivity in the US, accounting for around 11 percent of productivity growth during this period. Offshoring material inputs also has a positive effect on productivity, but the magnitude is smaller accounting for approximately 5 percent of productivity growth.


Friday, January 20, 2006

New Web Resources on Global and European Workforce Issues

Foreign-Born Population of the United States from the American Community Survey: 2003 [19 January 2006]

Data on the foreign-born population in 2003 illustrating demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, such as age, educational attainment, poverty status, and population by state. These characteristics are presented by U.S. citizenship status, year of entry into the United States, world region of birth, and by sub-region of birth for Latin America.

Worldwide Pay and Benefit Headlines [5 January 2006]

[full-text,[excerpt]At a time when companies are focused on growth and looking to their workforces to achieve that growth, a major new Towers Perrin study of employees worldwide offers disturbing news: Just 14% of people arefully engaged on the job and willing to go the extra mile for their companies. The study, the largest of its kind today, was conducted in August 2005 among more than 85,000 people working for large and midsize companies in 16 countries on four continents. It shows that there is a vast reserve of untapped "employee performance potential" that can drive better financial results if companies can successfully tap into this reserve.

Worldwide Total Remuneration 2005-2006 [Selected Charts]
full-text, 7 pages]

Work-related disorders in Sweden [12 January 2006][
full-text, 8 pages]

Abstract: One in four employed persons in Sweden has suffered from a work-related disorder in the past 12 months, according to the latest Swedish Work-related disorders survey. This survey data report focuses on disorders resulting from occupational accidents, stress and ergonomic factors. It identifies the most common ailments affecting men and women, outlines the occupations most at risk, examines sickness absence rates, and considers the problem of under-reporting.Includes numerous TABLES and CHARTS....

Trends in quality of work in the Netherlands [18 January 2006][
full-text, 19 pages]

Abstract: A diverse picture emerges regarding trends in quality of work in the Netherlands. It is difficult to draw firm conclusions on trends in working conditions because previously existing surveys have been replaced by newer ones. Nonetheless, work pace appears to be stabilising, while time pressure is decreasing. Some traditional risks, such as noise, dangerous work, physical load and shift work, are also stabilising; other risks, such as dirty work and bad smells at work, have declined. Contractual working hours have been reduced. At the same time, there is increased autonomy in decision making, and (paid and particularly unpaid) overtime is also on the rise.This report will discuss the following trends in working conditions and health: * exposure to psychosocial risk factors, such as job demands, job control, support, workplace violence and discrimination; * exposure to physical factors, such as noise, dirt or bad smells; * exposure to ergonomic work factors, such as poor posture and lifting heavy loads; * working hours; * self-reported health outcomes and, since 1997, work-related health outcomes. Data will also be included on the drop out from work due to absence and disability.Includes numerous TABLES and CHARTS....

European Working Conditions Observatory (EWCO) Online:
EWCO news updates [From 1-18 January 2006]
Regular news updates from the Observatory network of national correspondents.

News updates are short articles based on newsworthy developments in the area of quality of work at national level. Each national correspondent provides 4-6 such articles each year.

Portugal: Work?life balance in the ICT and retail sectors (18 January 2006)
In the Portuguese ICT and retail trade sectors, women in particular suffer from a poor work?life balance, research carried out between 2000 and 2004 has found. Occupational and educational level, working hours and contractual status influence the possibility of hiring domestic help and, by consequence, the possibility for women to advance in their career.

Denmark: Outlook for occupational risk trends (13 January 2006)<>
A report published by the Danish Working Environment Authority investigates the relationship between changes in employment structure, new job profiles and occupational risk factors. It is estimated that, in the near future, there will be increased risk of physical inactivity, psychosocial risk factors and monotonous strain from working with computers. Moreover, the persistence of traditional work factors should not be neglected.

Hungary: Hazardous workplaces (09 January 2006)

Work safety inspectors carry out regular assessments of company premises in Hungary. When they find any kind of offence against the Labour Protection Act, they impose a penalty. The sum accumulated from these fines will be distributed among those who successfully tender to implement work safety improvement measures.

Austria: Quality of work in call centres (03 January 2006)

The Austrian call centre sector is characterised by atypical work, low income and high staff turnover, and mainly employs female workers. Furthermore, there are key differences between inhouse call centres and subcontracting companies.

Source: Tthe Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City.


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