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The effects of KIBS outsourcing on Aragon firms’ efficiency/Efectos de la externalización de servicios a empresas intensivos en conocimiento sobre la eficiencia de las empresas en Aragón



    () (Dpto. Economia Aplicada. Universidad de Oviedo.)


    (FUNDEAR y Universidad de Zaragoza)


    (Universidad de Zaragoza)


The use of Knowledge Intensive Business Services (KIBS) has become an essential element for competitiveness in modern economies. New competitive advantages often relate to capacity of innovation, the correct use of information and communication technologies, product design or market analysis, among others. The activities related to these new advantages require a great specialization in order to obtain high levels of efficiency. This is the main reason that explains the general tendency to contract externally KIBS. Nevertheless, externalisation is not necessarily a guarantee of efficiency. This paper focuses on Aragon, with a relatively under-developed supply of KIBS, and explores the effect of the use and external provision of these services on regional firms’ efficiency. We use a database of tertiary and secondary firms and apply a non-parametric approach, the DEA technique, to this analysis. Results show that the mere use of KIBS has no clear effect on efficiency, but such a clear effect can be observed when some types of these activities are externally consumed. El uso de servicios a empresas intensivos en conocimiento (KIBS) se ha convertido en un elemento esencial para la competitividad en las economías desarrolladas. Las ventajas competitivas a menudo se relacionan con la capacidad de innovación, el uso adecuado de las tecnologías de la información y la comunicación, el diseño de productos o el análisis de mercados. Las actividades que generan estas ventajas requieren una gran especialización para conseguir un nivel elevado de eficiencia. Esta es la razón principal que explica la tendencia general a externalizar la contratación de KIBS. Sin embargo, la externalización, no siempre es una garantía de eficiencia. Este trabajo se centra en Aragón y analiza el efecto del uso y la provisión externa de KIBS sobre la eficiencia de las empresas regionales. Para ello se utiliza una base de datos de empresas de industria y servicios de la región, caracterizada por una poco desarrollada oferta de KIBS. A partir del uso de un enfoque no parámetrico, la técnica DEA, los resultados muestran que el simple uso de KIBs no tiene un efecto claro sobre la eficiencia, pero sí lo tiene cuando algunas actividades concretas se consumen externamente.

Suggested Citation

  • Rubiera Morollón, Fernando & Gómez Loscos, Ana & Pardos, Eva, 2010. "The effects of KIBS outsourcing on Aragon firms’ efficiency/Efectos de la externalización de servicios a empresas intensivos en conocimiento sobre la eficiencia de las empresas en Aragón," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 28, pages 205(22á)-20, Abril.
  • Handle: RePEc:lrk:eeaart:28_1_10

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gallouj, Faiz & Weinstein, Olivier, 1997. "Innovation in services," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4-5), pages 537-556, December.
    2. Fixler, Dennis J. & Siegel, Donald, 1999. "Outsourcing and productivity growth in services," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 177-194, June.
    3. Muller, Emmanuel & Zenker, Andrea, 2001. "Business services as actors of knowledge transformation: the role of KIBS in regional and national innovation systems," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 1501-1516, December.
    4. Charnes, A. & Cooper, W. W. & Rhodes, E., 1978. "Measuring the efficiency of decision making units," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 2(6), pages 429-444, November.
    5. Simar, Leopold & Wilson, Paul W., 2007. "Estimation and inference in two-stage, semi-parametric models of production processes," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 31-64, January.
    6. Rubiera,F & Quindos, M.P. & Vicente, M.R., 2005. "Are Knowledge Intensive Business Services always so Efficient as they Are Said to? An Empirical Approach of KIBS in a Peripheral Region," Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 5(2).
    7. Simone Strambach, 2010. "Knowledge-Intensive Business Services (KIBS)," Chapters,in: Platforms of Innovation, chapter 7 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. R. D. Banker & A. Charnes & W. W. Cooper, 1984. "Some Models for Estimating Technical and Scale Inefficiencies in Data Envelopment Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(9), pages 1078-1092, September.
    9. Volker Mahnke & Mikkel Lucas Overby & Jan Vang, 2005. "Strategic Outsourcing of IT Services: Theoretical Stocktaking and Empirical Challenges," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 205-253.
    10. Ricardo A. López, 2005. "Trade and Growth: Reconciling the Macroeconomic and Microeconomic Evidence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(4), pages 623-648, September.
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    More about this item


    Externalización; Servicios a Empresas Intensivos en Conocimiento y eficiencia ; Outsourcing; Knowledge Intensive Business Services (KIBS) and efficiency.;

    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


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