Digital economy

Potential offshoring of ICT-intensive using occupations


Services are increasingly tradable, mainly as a result of rapid technological advances, in particular in information and communication technologies, and continuing liberalisation of trade in services. This has led to the relatively new phenomenon of global services sourcing or offshoring. This report analyses evidence from both trade and employment data. It finds that many of the countries prominent in the offshoring debate have experienced rapid growth of exports of computer and information services and other business services. However, the bulk of these exports still comes from OECD countries. Detailed analysis of occupational data for OECD countries to determine the share of total employment that could potentially be affected by international sourcing of IT and ICT-enabled services has yielded estimates close to 20 per cent. Services sectors such as business services (e.g. accounting, consulting), financial services and research and development have a relatively high share of such employment. Both low and high skill white collar occupations are identified by the study as potentially affected by this phenomenon of global services sourcing.


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