IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Can we really trust offshoring indices?

  • Castellani, Davide
  • De Benedictis, Luca
  • Horgos, Daniel

This paper argues that offshoring indices often measure something different than what we think they are. Using data from input-output tables of 21 European countries from 1995 to 2006 we decompose an offshoring index, distinguishing between a domestic (structural change) and an international component (imported inputs ratio). Regarding offshoring of business services, a large share of the index variation is driven by the domestic component. This is even more pronounced for overall service offshoring. In the case of material offshoring, by contrast, the international component drives the main variation of the indices. Our results therefore show that, regarding (business) services, the typical calculation of offshoring indices tends to over estimate the role of the imported inputs component, neglecting the role played by structural changes in the economy.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Structural Change and Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 25 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 159-172

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:streco:v:25:y:2013:i:c:p:159-172
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Sven W. Arndt, 1998. "Super-Specialization And The Gains From Trade," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 16(4), pages 480-485, October.
  2. Sandro Montresor & Giuseppe Vittucci Marzetti, 2011. "The deindustrialisation/tertiarisation hypothesis reconsidered: a subsystem application to the OECD7," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(2), pages 401-421.
  3. Margaret S. McMillan & Dani Rodrik, 2011. "Globalization, Structural Change and Productivity Growth," NBER Working Papers 17143, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Joseph F. Francois, 1990. "Trade in Producer Services and Returns Due to Specialization under Monopolistic Competition," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 23(1), pages 109-24, February.
  5. Geishecker, Ingo & Görg, Holger, 2007. "Winners and losers: A Micro-level Analysis of International Outsourcing and Wages," CEPR Discussion Papers 6484, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Horgos, Daniel, 2007. "Labor Market Effects of International Outsourcing: How Measurement Matters," Working Paper 62/2007, Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg.
  7. Joachim Wagner, 2009. "Offshoring and firm performance: Self-selection, effects on performance, or both?," Working Paper Series in Economics 153, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  8. Daniel Horgos, 2011. "International Outsourcing and the Sector Bias: New Empirical Evidence," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(2), pages 232-244, 05.
  9. Alexander Hijzen & Holger Görg & Robert C. Hine, 2005. "International Outsourcing and the Skill Structure of Labour Demand in the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(506), pages 860-878, October.
  10. Chen, Hogan & Kondratowicz, Matthew & Yi, Kei-Mu, 2005. "Vertical specialization and three facts about U.S. international trade," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 35-59, March.
  11. Hartmut Egger & Peter Egger, 2002. "How international outsourcing drives up Eastern European wages," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 138(1), pages 83-96, March.
  12. Robert C. Feenstra, . "Integration Of Trade And Disintegration Of Production In The Global Economy," Department of Economics 98-06, California Davis - Department of Economics.
  13. Alan MacPherson & Vida Vanchan, 2010. "The Outsourcing of Industrial Design Services by Large US Manufacturing Companies," International Regional Science Review, , vol. 33(1), pages 3-30, January.
  14. Geishecker, Ingo & Gorg, Holger, 2005. "Do unskilled workers always lose from fragmentation?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 81-92, March.
  15. Francois, Joseph F, 1990. "Producer Services, Scale, and the Division of Labor," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(4), pages 715-29, October.
  16. Mary Amiti & Shang-Jin Wei, 2004. "Fear of Service Outsourcing: Is It Justified?," NBER Working Papers 10808, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Runjuan Liu & Dorothee J Feils & Barry Scholnick, 2011. "Why are different services outsourced to different countries?," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 42(4), pages 558-571, May.
  18. Francesco Daveri & Cecilia Jona-Lasinio, 2008. "Off-Shoring and Productivity Growth in the Italian Manufacturing Industries," CESifo Working Paper Series 2288, CESifo Group Munich.
  19. Robert C. Feenstra & Robert E. Lipsey & Lee G. Branstetter & C. Fritz Foley & James Harrigan & J. Bradford Jensen & Lori Kletzer & Catherine Mann & Peter K. Schott & Greg C. Wright, 2010. "Report on the State of Available Data for the Study of International Trade and Foreign Direct Investment," NBER Working Papers 16254, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Deborah Winkler, 2010. "Services Offshoring and its Impact on Productivity and Employment: Evidence from Germany, 1995–2006," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(12), pages 1672-1701, December.
  21. Gene M. Grossman & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2006. "Trading Tasks: A Simple Theory of Offshoring," NBER Working Papers 12721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Alexander Hijzen, 2007. "International Outsourcing, Technological Change, and Wage Inequality," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(1), pages 188-205, 02.
  23. Karsten Bjerring Olsen, 2006. "Productivity Impacts of Offshoring and Outsourcing: A Review," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2006/1, OECD Publishing.
  24. David L. Hummels & Jun Ishii & Kei-Mu Yi, 1999. "The nature and growth of vertical specialization in world trade," Staff Reports 72, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  25. Vanessa Strauss-Kahn, 2003. "The Role of Globalization in the Within-Industry Shift Away from Unskilled Workers in France," NBER Working Papers 9716, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Feenstra, Robert C. & Jensen, J. Bradford, 2012. "Evaluating estimates of materials offshoring from US manufacturing," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 170-173.
  27. Greenhalgh, Christine & Gregory, Mary, 2001. " Structural Change and the Emergence of the New Service Economy," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(0), pages 629-46, Special I.
  28. Arndt, Sven W., 1997. "Globalization and the open economy," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 71-79.
  29. Guerrieri, Paolo & Meliciani, Valentina, 2005. "Technology and international competitiveness: The interdependence between manufacturing and producer services," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 489-502, December.
  30. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1996. "Globalization, Outsourcing, and Wage Inequality," NBER Working Papers 5424, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. Jose Campa & Linda S. Goldberg, 1997. "The Evolving External Orientation of Manufacturing Industries: Evidence from Four Countries," NBER Working Papers 5919, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Vandermerwe, Sandra & Rada, Juan, 1988. "Servitization of business: Adding value by adding services," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 314-324, December.
  33. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1999. "The Impact of Outsourcing and High-Technology Capital on Wages: Estimates For the United States, 1979–1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 907-940.
  34. Dirk Pilat & Anita Wölfl, 2005. "Measuring the Interaction Between Manufacturing and Services," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2005/5, OECD Publishing.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:streco:v:25:y:2013:i:c:p:159-172. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.