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Keywords:

  • F17;
  • J23

Abstract

This article studies the effects of service offshoring on the skill composition of labour demand, using novel comparable data for nine Western European countries between 1990 and 2004. The results show that service offshoring raises the relative demand for high- and medium-skilled workers. Its effects are qualitatively identical, and quantitatively similar, to those of material offshoring. Additional evidence suggests, however, that the two types of offshoring may work through different channels: complementarity between imported services and domestic skills in the case of service offshoring, substitution of low-skilled labour in the case of material offshoring. Overall, the effects are not large in economic terms.