Lack Of Proof Casts An Impact On Offshoring

Washington, April 9 | Updated: Apr 10 2004, 05:30am hrs
Despite the war of words over outsourcing of jobs to countries like India, a lack of adequate statistics on the actual number of jobs offshored is making it difficult for the US government to formulate sound policies to deal with job losses, a top economist said here. There are reports of massive shifts of knowledge workers but little research to show the real scope of the problem, Dieter Ernst, a senior research fellow at East-West centre said.

The more controversial the issue becomes, the less willing US companies are to provide information, he added. We get into a vicious circle of blaming the Chinese and the Indians and threatening protectionist measures. Were stumbling from one ad hoc debate and populist message to another. We need reliable, robust evidence as a base for policy formulation, he said.

He said much debate in the media has focused on software outsourcing and call centers moving to India but thats just scratching the surface of a very complex issue. much more important is the relocation of well-paid jobs in engineering, product and process development, system integration and standard-setting and case studies show that globalization of knowledge work takes place across a wide range of industries such as computers, semiconductors and telecommunications etc, he said.