Outsourcing and Insourcing Both Create U.S. Jobs
"Most people treat outsourcing as a zero-sum game—one foreign worker replaces one American worker. But this is not how the dynamic global economy works. In 2007, Matthew Slaughter, an economist at Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business, published a comprehensive study of the hiring practices of 2,500 U.S.-based multinational companies.
He found that when U.S. firms hired lower-cost labor at foreign subsidiaries overseas, their parent companies hired even more people in the U.S. to support expanded operations. Between 1991 and 2001, employment at foreign subsidiaries of U.S. multinationals rose by 2.8 million jobs; during that same period, employment at their parent firms in the U.S. rose by 5.5 million jobs. For every job "outsourced" to India and other foreign countries, nearly two new jobs were generated here in the U.S. Those new U.S. jobs were higher-skilled and better-paying—filled by scientists, engineers, marketing professionals and others hired to meet the new demand created by their foreign subsidiaries.
A 2004 study by Prof. Slaughter titled "Insourcing: The Often Overlooked Aspect of Globalization" found that the number of American jobs created by the subsidiaries of foreign-based multinationals has more than doubled over the past generation. In 2002 those subsidiaries employed over 5.4 million American workers, nearly 5% of total private-sector employment. They also paid American workers 31% more than their American nonsubsidiary competitors—an average of $56,667 per year. If Congress enacts legislation to stop American companies from outsourcing, foreign governments could do the same—and that could put at risk millions of high-paying jobs in the U.S."