The facts about “outsourcing”

The Washington Post editorial board labels Team Obama’s Bain-related attacks on Mitt Romney “bunk,” and presents facts showing that the movement overseas of investment capital, and the jobs that go with it, benefits the U.S. economy with no net harm to our job market:

In a May 2012 paper, researchers at the London School of Economics Center for Economic Performance examined 58 U.S. manufacturing industries from 2000 to 2007, and found that the cost savings and productivity increases from shifting some work overseas enabled enough new domestic hiring to offset the jobs lost abroad.

Similarly, Mihair A. Desai and his colleagues at the Harvard Business School found that foreign investment by U.S. firms does not detract from their investment in the United States but rather complements it; a 10 percent increase in the former leads to a 2.6 percent increase in the latter.

Summarizing the literature, the non-partisan Congressional Research Service has noted the U.S. investment abroad may lead to job creation at home, which makes it difficult to identify any broad trend regarding outsourcing.

Unfortunately, the Post manages to blame Romney as well as Obama for the “polarized quarrel” over this matter. That’s like equating the arson with the fireman.

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