While there has been a great deal of debate over the impact of outsourcing on workers and incomes, empirical research on the prevalence of these arrangements has been limited due to the lack of large-scale microdata. This grant funds a project by economists Nicholas Bloom of Stanford, Steven Davis of the University of Chicago’s Booth Business School, Raffaella Sadun of the Harvard Business School, and John Van Reenen of MIT to address this gap through designing and fielding the first large-scale microsurvey of firms’ outsourcing activities. Data will be collected by adding new outsourcing-related questions to the 2020 Management and Organizations Practices Survey (MOPS), a mandatory survey on a stratified sample of 50,000 U.S. manufacturing establishments.
The research team will match these new outsourcing data with a wide variety of other data, including the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) matched employer?employee data, the Census of Manufacturing, the Longitudinal Firm Trade Transaction Database, and MOPS management data. These linkages will enable researchers to examine a host of important but currently difficult-to-examine issues, including the causes and consequences of outsourcing and its impacts on earnings, employment levels, and volatility.