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Services Outsourcing And Innovation: An Empirical Investigation


We provide a comprehensive empirical analysis of the links between international services outsourcing, domestic outsourcing, profits and innovation using plant level data. We find a positive effect of international outsourcing of services on innovative activity at the plant level. Such a positive effect can also be observed for domestic outsourcing of services, but the magnitude is smaller. This makes intuitive sense, as international outsourcing allows more scope for exploiting international factor price differentials, therefore giving the establishment higher profits and more scope to restructure production activities towards innovation. We also find that international services outsourcing has a positive effect on profitability, as predicted by theory, while this is not true for domestic sourcing. The results are robust to various specifications and an instrumental variables analysis.

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Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 49 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (04)
Pages: 321-333

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:49:y:2011:i:2:p:321-333
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  1. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 2006. "The pathological export boom and the bazaar effect: How to solve the German puzzle," Munich Reprints in Economics 19602, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Dermot Leahy & Catia Montagna, 2007. "Make-Or-Buy’ In International Oligopoly And The Role Of Competitive Pressure," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n1901107.pdf, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
  3. Tomiura, Eiichi, 2007. "Foreign outsourcing, exporting, and FDI: A productivity comparison at the firm level," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 113-127, May.
  4. Ingo Geishecker & Holger Görg, 2008. "Winners and losers: a micro-level analysis of international outsourcing and wages," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 41(1), pages 243-270, February.
  5. Criscuolo, Chiara & Haskel, Jonathan E. & Slaughter, Matthew J., 2010. "Global engagement and the innovation activities of firms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 191-202, March.
  6. Antràs, Pol & Helpman, Elhanan, 2004. "Global Sourcing," CEPR Discussion Papers 4170, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. repec:hrv:faseco:4784029 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Mark Cassidy & Holger Görg & Eric Strobl, 2005. "Knowledge Accumulation, And Productivity: Evidence From Plant-Level Data For Ireland," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 52(3), pages 344-358, 07.
  9. Bartel, Ann P. & Lach, Saul & Sicherman, Nachum, 2009. "Outsourcing and Technological Change," IZA Discussion Papers 4678, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Amiti, Mary & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2006. "Service Offshoring, Productivity and Employment: Evidence from the US," CEPR Discussion Papers 5475, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Alexander HIJZEN & INUI Tomohiko & TODO Yasuyuki, 2007. "Does Offshoring Pay? Firm-Level Evidence from Japan," Discussion papers 07005, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  12. Glass, Amy Jocelyn & Saggi, Kamal, 2001. "Innovation and wage effects of international outsourcing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 67-86, January.
  13. Kohn, Meir & Scott, John T, 1982. "Scale Economies in Research and Development: The Schumpeterian Hypothesis," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(3), pages 239-49, March.
  14. Swenson, Deborah L., 2004. "Entry costs and outsourcing decisions: evidence from the U.S. overseas assembly provision," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 267-286, December.
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