International Economics and Economic Policy

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 787–802 | Cite as

A model of trade, task offshoring and social insurance

  • Susanna ThedeEmail author
Original Paper


The purpose of this paper is to study the role of social insurance design in a comparative-advantage model of offshoring and trade. To do so, we incorporate social insurance into a modified version of the Grossman and Rossi-Hansberg (Am Econ Rev 98(5):1978–1997, 2008) model by formalizing its administrative, compensation, cost, labor-supply and productivity effects. The compensation and productivity effects, which are novel, give rise to important offshoring and trade implications that can contribute to explain how social insurance provision can be sustained under globalization pressure and why similar globalization pressure can lead to different skill premia developments in Western economies.


Trade Task offshoring Social insurance 

JEL classifications

F11 F16 I18 J65 



Financial support from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency is gratefully acknowledged. The author thanks an anonymous referee for detailed improvement recommendations and Andreas Bergh, Eric Bond, Ian Coxhead, Uwe Fachinger, Fredrik Heyman, Henrik Horn, Agneta Kruse and Fredrik Sjöholm for valuable comments. The paper has benefited from helpful suggestions of seminar participants at Department of Economics, Lund University, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Stockholm and School of Business and Economics, RWTH Aachen University and fruitful discussions with participants at the ‘European Economic Integration: Present and Future Challenges’ Workshop in Lisbon and the ‘Globalization: Strategies and Effects’ conference in Koldingfjord.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MaltaInstitute for European StudiesMsidaMalta

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