Monday, September 10, 2007

Outsourcing is a trade phenomenon

Books 2 Byte
The Political Economy of Trade, Finance, and Development
N.S.S. Narayana
(www.oup.com)

Two muddles in the outsourcing debate

Fear has big eyes, says a Russian proverb. “It also can have deaf ears,” suggests an essay titled The muddles over outsourcing included in The Political Economy of Trade, Finance, and Development, a compilation of T.N. Srinivasan’s writings edited by N.S.S. Narayana ( www.oup.com).

“Public debate over outsourcing has been marred by two sets of serious muddles,” frets the essay. “The first set of muddles relates to what is meant by outsourcing.” According to some, the word goes “beyond purchases of offshore arm’s length services to include, without analytical clarity, phenomena such as offshore purchases of manufactured components, and even direct foreign investment by firms.”

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