Global Engagement and the Occupational Structure of Firms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Global engagement can impact firm organization and the occupations firms need. We use a simple task-based model of the firm's choice of occupational inputs to examine how that choice varies with global engagement. We reveal a robust and causal relationship between global engagement and the skill mix of occupations within firms, using Swedish matched employer-employee data that link firms and the labor force for 1997–2005. Taking an instrumental variable approach, we find that increased export shares (driven by higher world import demand) skew the labor mix more toward high-skill occupations. Our results suggest that global engagement may require firms to employ more skilled labor to undertake complex tasks embodied in international businesses, which have further implications for the demand for specific occupational skills and overall wage dispersion.


External organisations
  • Michigan State University
  • University of Nottingham
  • Research Institute of Industrial Economics
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Economics


  • occupational structure, globalization, multinational enterprises, exporters, offshoring
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-292
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Economic Review
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Publication categoryResearch

Related research output

Davidson, C., Fredrik Heyman, Matusz, S., Fredrik Sjöholm & Chun Zhu, S., 2014, Department of Economics, Lund Universtiy, 58 p. (Working Paper / Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University; vol. 22).

Research output: Working paper

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