How the iPod Explains Globalization

Innovation and Job Creation in a Global Economy

A New York Times article published in June explores the research done by a trio of researchers – Greg Linden, University of California, Berkeley; Jason Dedrick, Syracuse University; and Kenneth L. Lraemer, University of California, Irvine – as to the relationship of a product (Apple’s iPod) to the globalization economy as a whole. The paper, entitled Innovation and Job Creation in a Global Economy: The Case of Apple’s iPod, was written in response to the growing assumption that domestic innovation only increases jobs abroad, leaving domestic workers without jobs.

From NYTimes.com:

Now come what might be the surprises. The first is that even though most of the iPod jobs are outside the United States, the lion’s share of the iPod salaries are in America. Those 13,920 American workers earned nearly $750 million. By contrast, the 27,250 non-American Apple employees took home less than $320 million.

That disparity is even more significant when you look at the composition of America’s iPod workforce. More than half the U.S. jobs — 7,789 — went to retail and other nonprofessional workers, like office support staff and freight and distribution workers. But those workers earned just $220 million.

As with everything, there are winners a losers. In this case, the winners are the Apple innovators and shareholders, while the losers are those who look grimly at “the American iPod jobs [that] are relatively poorly paid and low-skilled.”

The full New York Times article is available to read at: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/01/world/asia/01iht-letter01.html?_r=1

The research piece is available at: http://pcic.merage.uci.edu/papers/2011/InnovationJobCreationiPod.pdf

Join our upcoming webinar on December 1st at 11am PT to learn about the strategies used in localizing a major online music store


Advertisements