Susan N. Houseman

Susan N. Houseman Senior Economist

Houseman is a labor economist whose recent research has focused on labor market effects of temporary help and other types of outsourcing and on measurement issues related to the growth of outsourcing and offshoring. Other research interests include adjustment to changes in labor demand, international comparisons of labor policies, short-time compensation, and older workers.

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Research Focus: Measurement Problems Arising from the Growth of Globalization

The federal statistical system does not adequately measure certain rapidly expanding forms of international trade associated with the global integration of production, compromising the accuracy of, and possibly biasing, key economic statistics and analysis based on these measures.

Houseman’s (coauthored) research explains why the growth of offshoring is resulting in an overstatement of productivity and output growth in the U.S. economy—particularly in the manufacturing sector—and discusses the implications for employment, wages, and policy.

Conference on "Measuring the Effects of Globalization"
February 28–March 1, 2013
Washington, DC

Conference agenda and papers

Houseman co-directed a research and conference project on measurement problems arising from the growth of globalization with funding from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation:

Research Focus: Temporary Help Employment and Other Forms of Contracting Out

Temporary help agencies constitute an important port-of-entry for workers in the United States, particularly those with low skills and education levels. Houseman’s (coauthored) research has examined whether temporary help jobs are effective stepping stones to stable employment, documented the extensive use of temporary help workers by U.S. manufacturers, and studied which employers utilize temporary help agencies and why. Selected research:

Employers in the United States make extensive use of other forms of flexible staffing. Houseman’s research has studied trends in contracting out, evidence on which employers utilize these arrangements and why, and the implications of these arrangements for workers. In addition, her work has compared employers’ use of flexible staffing arrangements in the United States and Japan. Selected research: