Laurie S.M. Reijnders, Gaaitzen J. de Vries · 2018
Journal of Development Economics · Elsevier BV

Technology, offshoring and the rise of non-routine jobs

This paper documents the growing share of non-routine jobs in the labor force of thirty-seven advanced and emerging countries over the period 1999–2007. To examine the role of offshoring and technological change in driving this labor market development, we develop a task-based model of production in global value chains and propose a decomposition of changes in occupational labor demand. In the setup of the model, technological change affects the total number of workers with a certain occupation throughout the production chain, while task relocation consists of a shift in occupational labor demand from one location to another. For the empirical implementation we combine harmonized cross-country occupations data with world input-output tables. The results of our decomposition suggest that technological change increased the number of non-routine relative to routine occupations in all countries. The effect of task relocation is less strong, and works in the same direction for advanced countries such as Germany and the United States but in the opposite direction for emerging countries such as China and Poland.

Full publication is available on: DOI 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2018.08.009

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Gaaitzen de Vries

Gaaitzen de Vries
University of Groningen

Gaaitzen de Vries is associate professor at the Groningen Growth and Development Centre at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, professor of global value chains at the University of International Business and Economics, Beijing, China, and UNU-WIDER non-residential senior research fellow. He has been part of the World Input-Output Database project (, and has recently investigated the functional specialization of developing countries in global value chains. He holds a PhD from the University of Groningen.

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