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U.S. Manufacturing: Productivity, Offshoring, and Imports


  • Sebastiano Manzan

    () (Baruch College)

  • Howard N. Ross

    () (Baruch College)


The impact of offshoring on average labor productivity is investigated on a panel of 17 manufacturing sectors between 1989-2006. As proxies for offshoring, we use imports and import penetration, defined as the ratio of imports to output. We disaggregate the universe of exporters into low wage countries, NAFTA and the rest of the world. Controlling for production inputs, significant increases in productivity are explained by the growth of imports weighted by import penetration. The exception are imports from NAFTA which have a negative impact on productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Sebastiano Manzan & Howard N. Ross, 2011. "U.S. Manufacturing: Productivity, Offshoring, and Imports," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(4), pages 2875-2883.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-11-00519

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sourafel Girma & Holger Görg, 2004. "Outsourcing, Foreign Ownership, and Productivity: Evidence from UK Establishment-level Data," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(5), pages 817-832, November.
    2. Feenstra, Robert C & Hanson, Gordon H, 1996. "Globalization, Outsourcing, and Wage Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 240-245, May.
    3. Karsten Bjerring Olsen, 2006. "Productivity Impacts of Offshoring and Outsourcing: A Review," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2006/1, OECD Publishing.
    4. Hartmut Egger & Peter Egger, 2006. "International Outsourcing and the Productivity of Low-Skilled Labor in the EU," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(1), pages 98-108, January.
    5. Harry Bloch & James McDonald, 2001. "Import Competition and Labor Productivity," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 301-319, September.
    6. Michael W. Klein & Scott Schuh & Robert K. Triest, 2002. "Job creation, job destruction, and international competition: a literature review," Working Papers 02-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
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    More about this item


    productivity; offshoring; import penetration;

    JEL classification:

    • L6 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing
    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade


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