Essays on technology, labor mobility, and organizations
This dissertation includes two essays that explore in depth how computers are altering the economics of human resources management. The first essay is an empirical study relating offshoring to the displacement of US workers. I use micro-data from several sources to evaluate how firms' decisions to offshore information technology (IT) work affect hiring and displacement outcomes for their US-based IT workers. Offshoring raises the risk of displacement for the average IT worker by about 1-2% each year. Moreover, workers who produce services that do not require face-to-face contact, such as computer software programmers, are at significantly higher risk than those who provide services that require face-to-face interaction, such as sales or project management. I also find that displaced workers are less likely to be hired into offshoring firms, resulting in a net reallocation of these workers from firms that are offshoring to firms that are not. I also cross-validate many of these findings using external survey data. In the second essay, I explore the role of IT worker mobility in generating spillovers of knowledge related to workplace computerization. I use new longitudinal and nationally representative inter-firm mobility data to model employee flows among firms and find evidence that the diffusion of information technology related know-how through IT worker mobility played an important role in driving productivity growth over the last two decades. The estimates indicate that doubling the external stock of IT-related knowledge to which a firm has access is equivalent to raising internal IT investment by 30%. I discuss implications for managers, policy makers, and regional planners.
|Year of publication:||
|Authors:||Tambe, Prasanna B|
|Type of publication:||Other|
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