Spatial Agglomeration, Technology and Outsourcing of Knowledge Intensive Business Services Empirical Insights from Italy
AbstractAim of this paper is to explore the main drivers of outsourcing of knowledge intensive business services by Italian manufacturing firms. While anecdotal and empirical evidence has emphasized labour cost and scale economies as behind firms’ choices to outsource production or service activities, here we focus on spatial agglomeration and technology as important factors. Using microeconomic data on a repeated cross-section of Italian manufacturing firms for the period 1998-2003, we develop a two-stage model in order to avoid selection bias: first, we estimate the determinants of the firm's decision to outsource business-related services; second, we estimate the main factors underlying the intensity and complexity of KIBS outsourcing, expressed by the number of service activities that are externalized. Our results show that labour cost-savings are not relevant in driving the decision to outsource KIBS, but ICT, R&D and location within a dense and technologically developed industrial district have very positive effects.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2007.79.
Date of creation: Jul 2007
Date of revision:
KIBS; Service Outsourcing; R&D; ICT; Spatial Agglomeration;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- L24 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Contracting Out; Joint Ventures
- L84 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Personal, Professional, and Business Services
- R32 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Other Spatial Production and Pricing Analysis
- R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-09-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-EEC-2007-09-16 (European Economics)
- NEP-GEO-2007-09-16 (Economic Geography)
- NEP-INO-2007-09-16 (Innovation)
- NEP-KNM-2007-09-16 (Knowledge Management & Knowledge Economy)
- NEP-URE-2007-09-16 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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