Korok Ray [1 of 2] – Online Outsourcing and the Future of Work

Ep 187 Korok Ray

This is a fascinating episode with guest, Dr. Korok Ray, a renowned economist that has served as a senior economist on the Council of Economic Advisers for then US President George Bush, from 2007 to 2009 during the historic financial crisis.

He is an Associate Professor at the May Business School of Texas A&M University and the Director of the Mays Innovation Research Center. He earned his BS in Math and Economics from the University of Chicago and his Ph.D. in Economics from Standford University.

Korok is a labor economist. In this episode, Korok lends his views on labor and outsourcing in his essay entitled Online Outsourcing and the Future of Work.



  • During his stint as the senior economist under George Bush administration in 2007 to 2009, Korok noticed how outsourcing tasks to staffs around the White House effectively and efficiently accomplished enormous tasks to unburden the President of non-presidential stuff.
  • From this realization, Korok himself started to unburden himself with all the non-PhD staff like typing and Google searching. He found oDesk and started to outsource these other important but time-consuming tasks thus maximizing comparative advantage, for him to specialize on the highest and best use of his time and resources while creating superhuman productivity.
  • His experience with some oDesk online workers prompted him to move into digital based outsourcing which is one of his primary interest and from where he was seeing massive economic benefits that people and even countries can gain from borderless online outsourcing. He thinks that outsourcing itself is the “undiscovered country of the future”.  
  • He also believed that in the future billions of people particularly from the developing countries will be adding to the world’s internet population primarily as producers or online workers. This will unlock superhuman productivity in this age of digitalization when the market has unlimited direct access to matching human capital.
  • The trend is towards more outsourcing with the potential of the emerging human capital and new technology. Competition will be stiff, but this will encourage specialization on core competencies. Individuals may be displaced but either market, the consumer and the producer, wins.

Key Points:

  • Executive level management can be the most productive and most efficient by engaging systematic labor outsourcing strategies.
  • Digitalization or technology unlocks unlimited direct access to the global human capital and superhuman productivity.
  • The future trend is towards more outsourcing and it is believed that billions will join digital space as online workers or the human capital.





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