Recent developments in ICT and the growth of the emerging economies of China and India have generated a process of offshoring in which some activities move away from Europe. Sound policy responses require an understanding of what types of activities are contestable and a view on the strengths of the European knowledge economy.

Activities at the level of workers, firms and regions are the outcome of a global trading process resulting in bundles of integrated tasks. The possibility to offshore part of the work has changed these bundles of tasks and employment growth. Some tasks are easy to unbundle, while other tasks tend to cluster to benefit from lower communication costs.

This project aims to improve our understanding of the bundling and unbundling of tasks in Europe from the perspective of recent developments in ICT and globalisation. A theoretical framework is developed to understand the margins of bundling and unbundling, trends in the division of tasks are measured and interpreted for Germany and Britain, and the further consequences of these developments for the organisation of work are considered for Germany, the largest European economy.

The SEEK workshop addresses microeconomic questions regarding the internationalisation of economic activity. It aims at discussing theoretical frameworks and empirical evidence at the level of firms, jobs and tasks. The workshop features invited presenters only.

The workshop is organised within the framework of the research programme "Strengthening Efficiency and Competitiveness in the European Knowledge Economies" (SEEK) by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in collaboration with Bas Ter Weel (CPB Netherlands) and Lex Borghans (University of Maastricht).

Workshop Participation

Workshop Participation is per invitation only. The number of workshop participants is limited.


Programme (as PDF, 19 KB)


17.09.2012 - 18.09.2012

Event Location

ZEW, L 7,1 D-68161 Mannheim