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Winners and Losers from Offshore Outsourcing

2006 Global Challenges Conference

McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives
March 3–4, 2006
Mount Holyoke College

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The increasing organization of production across national borders is a key force behind the current economic globalization process. As corporations in the developed countries produce and source increasingly more products and services in countries with lower wages and social and environmental standards, an intense debate has developed about the implications of globalized production for developed and developing countries. Some think that we are at the beginning of a new Great Transformation, while others interpret current trends as more of the same.

The goal of the conference is to bring a significant part of the college community together in day-long intense engagement with the critical challenges and promises of globalizing production and an exploration of policy options. Scholars and practitioners from around the world will analyze some of the key questions that have emerged in the discussions on the implications of offshore outsourcing. Does growing offshoring spell massive job out-migration and undermine the social contract of the last half century in developed countries? Or does ongoing reallocation of production to high value-added activities eventually lead to better living standards for all in the industrialized world? Does globalized production offer new opportunities for employment and technological upgrading in the developing world? Or does the abundance of low-wage skilled labor in China, India, and middle-income Eastern and Central European countries minimize the potential benefits of globalization for other developing countries? Is the growing globalization of production a zero-sum game across and within countries, with developing countries gaining at the expense of developed countries, capital gaining at the expense of labor, or highly-skilled workers gaining at the cost of low-skilled workers? Or can globalization be a win-win situation with the right policies?

Book Based on Conference

Global Capitalism Unbound: Winners and Losers from Offshore Outsourcing

Edited by Eva Paus

Photo of book cover Global Capitalism Unbound

The rapid growth of offshore outsourcing in manufacturing and IT-based services is unleashing dramatic changes around the world. Based on work done at the conference, this book brings together leading scholars and practitioners to analyze the implications of this huge transformation.

Friday March 3rd , 2006

8:00 pm
The Great Doubling: Labor in the New Global Economy
Keynote by Richard Freeman, Herbert Ascherman Chair in Economics, Harvard University

Saturday March 4th, 2006

8:30 am – 10:15 am
The Impact of Globalized Production on Developed Countries

Moderator: Kavita Khory, Associate Professor of Politics, Mount Holyoke College


Globalization of Services: Friend or Foe?
Catherine Mann, Senior Fellow, Institute for International Economics

Spurring Growth Dynamics from Services Offshoring
Will Milberg, Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis, New School University (PDF)

Social Contracts under Siege: National Responses to Globalized and Europeanized Production in Europe
Vivien Ann Schmidt, Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration, Department of International Relations, Boston University (PDF)

Discussant: Hans-Peter Martin, member of the European Parliament, Brussels

10:30 am-12:15 pm
The Impact of Globalized Production on Developing Countries

Moderator: Shahrukh Khan, Visiting Professor, Department of Economics, Mount Holyoke College


The Impact of Foreign Direct Investment on Central Europe's Reintegration into the Global Economy
Bart Kaminski, University of Maryland, College Park, and World Bank. (PDF)

The Impact of the Foreign Sector on Innovation in China’s Domestic Firms
Gary Jefferson, Carl Marks Professor of International Trade and Finance, Brandeis University. (PDF)

Offshore Outsourcing of Services: Trends and Challenges for Developing Countries
Luis Abugattas, Senior Trade Expert, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. (PDF)

Discussant: Alice Amsden, Barton L Weller Professor of Political Economy, MIT

2:00 pm-3:00 pm
The Disposable American
Keynote by Louis Uchitelle, Senior Economics Journalist, New York Times

3:15pm-5:00 pm
Responses to the Challenges of Globalized Production

Moderator: Eva Paus, Professor of Economics, Director of the Center for Global Initiatives, Mount Holyoke College


Labor Recommodification in the Second Transformation. How to Achieve Economic Security.
Guy Standing, Director, Socio-Economic Security Program, International Labor Organization (PDF)

Employment-oriented Macro Policy and the Challenge of Outsourcing
Jerry Epstein, Professor of Economics, Co-Director, Political Economy Research Center, University of Massachusetts. (PDF)

Business Process and IT Outsourcing. Big Companies, Big Deals.
Hugh Dyar, Senior Executive, Accenture New York office, Communications and High Tech Outsourcing (PDF)

Discussant: Richard Freeman, Herbert Ascherman Chair in Economics, Harvard University

Co-sponsored by the New York Times Knowledge Network and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.