By Arnold Kling
Daniel Drezner writes that actual data on outsourcing has been hard to come by.
Now, however, we can add some actual figures to the overheated debate. The Government Accountability Office has issued its first review of the data, and one undeniable conclusion to be drawn from it is that outsourcing is not quite the job-destroying tsunami it’s been made out to be. Of the 1.5 million jobs lost last year in “mass layoffs” – that is, when 50 or more workers are let go at once – less than 1 percent were attributed to overseas relocation; that was a decline from the previous year…
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that in the first quarter of this year 4,633 workers were laid off because of offshoring. In the same period Kodak, for example, announced layoffs of 15,000 workers because the growth of digital photography reduced demand for film.
Of course, thanks to Bryan Caplan, we know why fear-mongering over outsourcing works better than fear-mongering over technological change. It’s anti-foreign bias at work.
For Discussion. Is the outsourcing issue approaching its political expiration date?