Employment Effects of Offshoring, Technological Change and Migration in a Group of Western European Economies: Impact on Different Occupations


Michael Landesmann and Sandra M. Leitner

wiiw Working Paper No. 226, March 2023
72 pages including 26 Tables and 7 Figures

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This paper estimates conditional demand models to examine the impact of offshoring, technological change, and migration on the labour demand of native workers differentiated by four different types of occupational groups: managers/professionals, clerical workers, craft (skilled) workers and manual workers. The analysis is conducted for an unbalanced panel of five economies Austria, Belgium, France, Spain, and Switzerland covering the period 2005-2018. Our results point to important and occupation-specific effects: offshoring seems to have beneficial employment effects for native craft workers in this set of economies, while negative effects for native manual workers across a wide set of industries (including manufacturing and services industries) and managers/professionals in manufacturing. Furthermore, there are important distinctions whether offshoring occurs in other advanced economies, in the EU13 or in developing countries. The analysis of the impact of technological change shows the strong positive impact which the additional IT equipment has on most occupational groups of native workers (with the exception of manual workers), while robotisation in manufacturing showed strongly negative impacts on the employment of all groups of workers and especially of craft workers. Increasing immigrant shares in the work forces showed strongly negative impacts on native workers – however, considering only the partial substitution effects and not including the potential for productivity and demand effects – and this is mostly accounted for by immigration from low- to medium-income source countries.


Keywords: Employment, occupational groups, offshoring, technological change, immigration

JEL classification: F16, F22, F66, O33

Countries covered: Austria, Belgium, France, Spain, Switzerland

Research Areas: Labour, Migration and Income Distribution, International Trade, Competitiveness and FDI