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Issue Q3 2012  
The Task Composition of Offshoring by U.S. Multinationals  
Lindsay Oldenski
Recent advances in communications technology allow for greater fragmentation of production across borders in both goods and services. However, this fragmentation is difficult to observe in the existing trade data. To get around this lack of data, several recent papers have used the task content of occupations as a proxy for offshorabilty. Up until this point, that relationship between tasks and offshorabilty has been based on intuition, rather than empirical evidence. In this paper, I use conSdential data from Srm-level surveys to offer the Srst empirical evidence on the link between tasks and offshoring. The results show that US multinationals are signiScantly more likely to perform a stage of production at a foreign afSliate the more intensively that input uses routine tasks, and the less intensively it uses communication tasks. Abstract

Multinational Firms ; Offshoring ; International Trade ; Keywords
F10 ; F21 ; L21 ; JEL classification
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