The Globalization of the Software Industry: Perspectives and Opportunities for Developed and Developing Countries

Date of Original Version



Working Paper

Abstract or Description

The spectacular growth of the software industry in some non-G7 economies has aroused both interest and concern. This paper addresses two sets of inter-related issues. First, we explore the determinants of these successful stories. We then touch upon the broader question of what lessons, if any, can be drawn from for economic development more generally. Finally, examining the long term implications of offshoring of software, we conclude that it is unlikely to pose a long term threat to American technological leadership. Instead, the U.S. economy will broadly benefit from the growth of new software producing regions. The U.S. technological leadership rests in part upon the continued position of the U.S. as the primary destination for highly trained and skilled scientists and engineers from the world over. Though this is likely to persist for some time the increasing attractiveness of foreign emerging economy destinations is a long-term concern for continued U.S. technological leadership.